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

Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

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Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

The Bruins’ new practice facility has been years in the making and they will finally get to officially open the doors to Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton next month. 

The B’s players will start informal captain’s practice skates at the new facility on the New Balance property in these final days of August, but the team announced on Friday that the new facility will be officially opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, team president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney and a number of players will be on hand for the opening ceremony and ensuing open house for the media. Also planning to attend from New Balance will be Owner and Chairman Jim Davis and NB Development Group LLC Managing Director Jim Halliday, along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. 

Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” which will feature local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston and West Roxbury mixed in with members of the Bruins alumni. 

The Youth All-Stars will team with Bruins alumni and they will play the first official game before the ice is turned over to the current Bruins players for their training camp later in the month.

The Warrior Ice Arena gets its name from the Warrior brand of hockey equipment that is now a division of New Balance and comes with a 79-foot high Warrior hockey stick that greets visitors at the front entrance doors.

Warrior Ice Arena will be the B’s new and permanent practice home after the Bruins spent 25-plus years practicing in the suburbs of Boston at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. 

 

Friday, Aug. 26: Coyotes keep taking on dead money in latest deal

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Friday, Aug. 26: Coyotes keep taking on dead money in latest deal

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while finally catching up on “The Man in the High Tower” on Amazon.

*The Coyotes and Panthers executed a trade sending Dave Bolland to Arizona, and it’s not exactly great news for Gary Bettman with Arizona continuing to take on a lot of dead money.

*Alex Pietrangelo was appropriately humbled to be named the 21st captain in the history of the St. Louis Blues.

*The Colorado Avalanche have a new head coach, and his name is Jared Bednar, who it is said will get the players to play hard for him.

*The footage of somebody in full goalie equipment running away from a burglary scene is something out of a movie.

*The New York Rangers can never have enough depth, and that’s why they added Brandon Pirri to the mix on Thursday.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker says Lawson Crouse brings the total package in the trade from Florida to Arizona, and he also brings a player that can take a hell of a hit as he was the guy that got rocked by Charlie McAvoy at the World Junior Showcase earlier this month.  

*It’s only 15 days until the US National Team Development Program gets going with their 2016-17 schedule: here it is in full.

*For something completely different: can you see David Ortiz’s face in this corn maze? This could be like an ink blot test.