UNIONDALE, N.Y. — You’ve seen him slam his stick against the ice. You’ve seen him smash it on the crossbar. You’ve even seen him push the net off its magnets and wave his arms in the air.
Typically, when Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas loses a shutout on a late goal, he doesn’t hide his emotions. But tonight when he let in the New York Islanders’ lone goal — a Bill Guerin pass that deflected off David Krejci’s skate with the Bruins protecting a 2-0 lead with 53.2 seconds left — Thomas took it in stride.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to record his fourth shutout of the season. But he had two excellent reasons for keeping those feelings bottled up.
“It’s a couple different things. First of all, it was still 2-1. If it’s 4-0, you lose the shutout … but sometimes you don’t want to show any reaction when it’s 2-1 because you don’t want them to think, ‘oh, we got him’ or ‘we’re going to do this.’
“And another thing is I think the D tried hard in front of me all night. Some bounces weren’t going our way. Yeah, we can play a better game, but bounces like that are going to happen. It wasn’t out of laziness. So as long as it’s not out of laziness, you don’t really get too upset.”
Thomas settled for the victory with 40 saves. Head coach Claude Julien called Thomas “our best player tonight.” And he was right. Thomas was also the wisest.