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.