BOSTON — Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas wasn’t a physics major at the University of Vermont, but he’s quite certain that Alexander Semin’s slap shot from halfway between the Boston blue line and the red line broke some laws that Newton invented.
The goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 overtime win today at TD Banknorth Garden.
“That doesn’t happen very often, that kind of shot. That was one of the luckiest shots I’ve ever seen,” said Thomas who made sure to watch it in slow-motion replay after he departed the ice. “It was about 3 inches off the ice until about halfway to me, and then it just started to lift. I got a good piece of it. It originally started out as a pad save, turned into a glove save and I missed it.”
“From that far away, I should have it anyway,” Thomas concluded. “But you don’t expect that kind of stuff to happen.”
The Bruins battled back from three one-goal deficits to force overtime against the team immediately behind them in the race for the Eastern Conference’s top seed. The Semin goal wasn’t the only fluky one, as Tomas Fleischmann also scored one off of Dennis Wideman and in. In a season that’s featured tons of Vezina Trophy talk involving Thomas, this was one the puck-stopper should probably throw away quickly.
“It wasn’t one of his better outings. A couple of tough goals there, I guess, off a skate and everything else. It’s like anything else – you take responsibility,” head coach Claude Julien said. “And that last goal was a bad goal. He can say all the things that happened with the puck. But bottom line is, he should tell himself he should’ve had it, he didn’t have it, turn the page and let’s move on.
“He’s given us too much to be worried about the negatives. He’s been far much better than he’s been the other way, so it’s simple as that.”
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara agreed: “On the other hand, Timmy also plays so many games so well for us. You can’t blame him. Those things happen and it’s unfortunate.”
Thomas said it will take him about 30 minutes, once he leaves the Garden, to get over the tough loss. But now he knows that if the Bruins face the Capitals again this season (it’d have to be in the playoffs) he’ll have to be ready for a magic puck or two to fly his way.