Tim Thomas stepped off just ahead of Tuukka Rask during Tuesdays morning skate, and one would expect that the All-Star netminder would get the first start of the traditional second half of the NHL season. After all Thomas is coming off a stellar 18-save performance and should be in the prime Timmy against the World mindset that usual portends great things from the 37-year-old Bs netminder. If Thomas does indeed get the start it should be interesting to see the reaction of the TD Garden crowd in their first chance to potentially show any displeasure over the goalie skipping out on last weeks White House trip due to political reasons.
Thomas said following Sundays All-Star game that hell deal with whatever he has coming to him, but the expectation is the Bs fan base is going to largely be supportive of their Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Thomas is 2-0 with a 2.50 goals against average and .933 save percentage, and 21-8 with a 1.95 goals against average and .938 save percentage with six shutouts in his career against Ottawa.
Claude Julien didnt tip his hand on his goaltending choice against the Senators, but he did indicate the Bruins would be much more prone to riding the hot hand in the second half of the year.
I want to continue to utilize both goaltenders. But their play will certainly influence our decision as how much one plays versus the other, and so on and so forth. Were in a good position there where weve got two good goaltenders. Weve got to keep going with the hot hand, said Claude Julien. When I say the hot hand, if theyre both hot, theyre both playing. If ones hotter than the other, then the other one will play a little bit more than the first one. But no matter what, with that schedule youre going to see both of them playing.
Nathan Horton (concussion) and Andrew Ference (suspension) are both out of the lineup, but Ference will be back when the Bs suit up Thursday night against the Florida Panthers. Here is the projected lineup for Tuesday nights tilt against the Senators, a team that Thomas has routinely owned over the years: