Thomas focusing on the small picture

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Thomas focusing on the small picture

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- It looks like Tim Thomas is going to take his time with bold predictions and grand pronouncements.

The 37-year-old goalie had some fun with the season ticket holders during the State of the Bruins last week by stridently dedicating this season to repeating as winner of the Stanley Cup, Vezina Trophy and Conn Smyth Trophy for a second consecutive year.

"I won the Cup, the Conn Smythe and the Vezina, said Thomas. The conclusion I came to this summer is that I have no choice but to shoot for it again this year.

The confident Thomas played to the crowd with his certainty and brought down the house with fan applause and hollers once he finished up his sentence.

That version of Thomas had left the building on Saturday morning for the first day of camp. Instead, the Bs goaltender was more worried about tweaking his equipment than winning a triple crown of NHL goaltending awards during the month of September.

I talked about season goals before, but I dont think the first day of camp is the right time to talk about what you think is going to happen this year, said Thomas, who set the modern NHL record with a .938 save percentage last season. Id rather focus on the immediate that its the first day of camp and a small step forward. I just want to focus on getting better every day -- and the smaller picture -- rather than to get into that kind of stuff right now.

Thomas didnt need to be reminded about the whopping number of regular season and playoff games (82) he skated in last season. Thomas knows that many are expecting a physical letdown after his heavy workload last year, but the Bs goaltender said any offseason recovery was much more mentalemotional in nature rather than physical.

Hes not coming off hip surgery and Thomas was able to work out this summer as he always had in the past.

But Thomas has also never been quite as comfortable with his hockey station in life as he is right now after winning every award imaginable in one of the best NHL goaltending seasons in the modern era of hockey.

I actually feel good. Last year I was coming off that hip surgery and I wasnt even allowed to be on the ice until the first day of camp. If anything Im in better all-around condition than last year. At this point I dont feel the 82 games from last season anyway, said Thomas, who knew the exact number of games played off the top of his head. Physically I dont feel too bad. Mentally and emotionally you give so much energy that those are the harder parts to deal with.

Youre in battle mode for two months straight because thats what the playoffs are. Plus the whole season youre kind of in that mode, but it gets stepped up in the playoffs. To have it suddenly be over that was harder than the physical things for me anyway.

The only remaining vestige from Thomas playoff performance from last season: the handlebar mustache still on the Bs goaltenders face.

But even Thomas championship facial hair has no guarantee of making it to the regular season this year.

That would be part of the Bruins 'big picture' that Thomas isnt touching at this point in training camp.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.