Thomas responds to Luongo's verbal barbs

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Thomas responds to Luongo's verbal barbs

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON Tim Thomas finally got to voice his response on Sunday afternoon to Vancouver Canuck Roberto Luongos strange plea for compliments and tire-pumping.

Luongo seemed to feel like Thomas hadnt duly complimented his Vancouver counterpart through the series, and that misplaced sentiment came after Luongo stridently stated that he could have stopped the game-winning goal in Game 5 that Thomas couldnt make a play on.

On Luongo saying he would have stopped Maxim Lapierres goal, the 37-year-old Bruins goalie took the high road saying that he didnt want to get into it while stressing that he was focused on what I can do to help my team win going into Game 6. There was the slightest hint of a stress on the my team portion of Thomas statement.

But the likely Vezina Trophy winner couldnt resist responding to Luongos bizarre assertion that the Canucks' puck-stopper has pumped the tires of the Bs goaltender throughout the series and in turn Thomas has said nothing nice about him.

I guess I didnt realize it was my job to pump his tires, said Thomas to a barrel of laughter from the crowd. I guess I have to apologize for that.

I stick with all of the other goalies in being one and knowing what it takes to perform at this level and with this amount of pressure. I understand to a certain extent what every other goalie is going through.Luongo responded later in the afternoon with the contention that he was never trying to be negative in his original answer about the Lapierre goal, and that the ensuing media frenzy has been the ultimate misunderstanding of innocent intentions. Most aren't buying it despite the Vancouver goalie's protestations."Listen, I know we're in the Stanley Cup Final and everything is under the microscope and going to get blown out of proportion," said Luongo. "Obviously my whole comment I don't think was a negative comment if you take the whole comment."But at the end of the day, I'm one win away from winning a Stanley Cup. That's all I really care about now. All the other stuff is noise to me and doesn't really affect what's going to take place for me tomorrow night. To be honest with you, I don't really care."The more Luongo opines about things he has no business addressing and states how much he truly doesn't care about somebody "pumping his tires," the more a guy like William Shakespeare would say the Vancouver netminder "doth protest way too much." The bottom line for Luongo: improving on a TD Garden scene that's been a house of horrors as he allowed 12 goals in two games that amounted to a lot more than "a couple of bad bounces" as he attempted to spin it for the media. The bottom line for Thomas: he has a chance to remain hot and make sure people will be pumping his Stanley Cup Final tires for a long time to come.When the puck drops on Monday night for Game 6, it will be with all of the hue and cry in the rear view mirror and everyone focused on the actual goaltending play that started kick-started the entire flap in the first place.

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

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.