Boston goalie Tim Thomas may have a Stanley Cup ring, a Vezina Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy, but entering the weekend there were at least three things he hadn’t done in the NHL – beaten the Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings or Minnesota Wild. You can now scratch one of those teams off the list after he and the Bruins down the Kings 4-2. Prior to the win, Thomas had posted a 0-1-4 record with a 2.39 goals against average and .919 save percentage when playing LA.
Here’s what he was saying in the locker room after the game…
On the mindset coming in – “We had lost four games in a row on the road. Then we had a couple good games, but then things fell away from us in the last game (vs. San Jose). So, it was important for us to grind out a gritty road win here.”
On the final minutes of the game vs. the Kings – “It was frantic, but it always is. I was in a pretty good mindset and was trying not to get too frantic myself and pull myself out of net. That was basically what I was focusing on.”
On Zdeno Chara‘s kick save with about a minute remaining in regulation – “That’s what it takes when it’s get down to the end. You get six people in the zone and everybody around the net and crashing the net, doing anything they can to throw the puck at the net. Sometimes you need a little help and tonight I got help from a 6-foot-9 giant.”
On where the team is at now compared to last year at the same point – “You can’t really compare. Different seasons are different seasons. To be honest, I don’t really remember exactly where we were with seven or eight games left…I don’t really recall where we were at last year, so it’s hard for me to compare. Having said that, I still think there’s some growth that we need to do heading into the final games remaining this year.”
On wanting to give Chara a win his 1,000th NHL game – “At the end of the game, five or six guys took off towards the other end (of the ice) and I was (confused). I thought they were going to (congratulate) Marchy for the open net goal and I was like, ‘What’s the big deal?’ Then, I remembered it was his 1,000th game. But, I was just too tired to go join that pack. The first thing I did when I saw him was tell him congratulations on his 1,000the game and hopefully this is one he’ll remember.”
On Chara and Dennis Seidenberg as a unit – ‘They’re very important to our team. They were huge in the playoffs last year. They’re one of those essential parts of our team. They play an important role on a nightly basis.”
Bonus comments from Chara…
On how bad he wanted to win the game – “Of course I wanted to win. There’s no question that you want to remember your 1,000th game as a winning game. Also, we know what it means in the standings. We know what it means to our hockey club right now to establish (the type of) game we want to have going into the playoffs. So, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
On the satisfaction of making such a big defensive stop at the end of the game – “That’s always been my bread and butter. I’m more known for defending and shutting guys down than scoring.”
Additional quotes from the Bruins locker room – including more from Chara, plus thoughts from Milan Lucic and coach Claude Julien – were posted here.
Prior to the game, Chara came on MayorsManor to share some memories from his first 999 games. You can catch that interview here…and we also did a piece with Tyler Seguin, which you’ll find here.