Tim Thomas has a question for anybody who wonders whether his high-energy goaltending style can cause him to wear down after playing in a high concentration of games without a rest.
Did I look tired during Game 7 of the Cup Finals last year?
There are plenty of other goalies that have to play a ton and they have to deal with it," he continued. " I will do the same thing."
Playing in his seventh consecutive game, Thomas surrendered another goal to his high glove side on a Jason Pominville bomb at the end of the first period. But he locked it down the rest of the way, while making 19 saves en route to Bostons 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
It was only the second time in his last 13 outings that Thomas held the opposition under two goals, and its exactly what Boston needed.
The low number of shots (20) indicates a quality defensive effort from the Bruins and thats something Claude Julien and the coaching staff was looking for with Thomas struggling (.854 save percentage) during March's previous four games heading into Tuesday night.
It certainly helps when you can minimize the number of shots on your goalie. Weve kind of really tried to go easy on him in practice and keep him short, said Julien. Well certainly give him the time off that he needs just to stay fresh. We have Marty to come in and hopefully give us a hand here down the road and hopefully those things will all fall into place here soon.
Sure, the Bruins were taking advantage of a Buffalo team coming off its second game in two nights, and they managed to avoid a matchup with Ryan Miller after hed played in the previous 22 games. But it was still a highly motivated Sabres bunch that got some decent looks at Thomas, and the Bs netminder was able to turn them away.
It was a tight game throughout, but the Bruins got themselves a little breathing room when Johnny Boychuk roped his game-winner in the third period. The Sabres followed up with a heightened level of attack attempting to even things up: Thomas jumped far out of the net to stuff Ville Leino on a one-timer from the slot and then managed to knock away a Cody Hodgson rebound attempt from directly in front of him.
It was vintage Thomas and it showed that the soon-to-be 38-year-old still has something left in the tank.
Physically I am fine, physically I am good. Mentally I am good. I have felt a lot better than the results I have gotten on the scoreboard over the past few games, said Thomas.
Fatigue is not an issue. Especially because I have been getting a lower shot total, it lowers the workload that you are taking.
Thomas said fatigue is not an issue and for one night against the Sabres the Conn Smythe Trophy winner was absolutely correct. But hell need to follow it up a few more times if he wants to prove his point after struggling since January.