WILMINGTON, Mass. — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said today after practice at Ristuccia Arena that the Bruins clinching of a playoff spot Sunday night in Philadelphia won’t change his routine over the final seven games of the season.
That routine obviously includes being a smart ass.
When asked if he had an amount of work he’d like to get in before the regular season ends in his head, Thomas replied:
“No, there’s nothing in my head. It’s completely blank. You should see, it’s scary sometimes.”
It seems that while living on the North Shore, Thomas has been spending some time around the Giggles comedy club. He could become the league’s first comedian/Vezina winner if his recent hot play continues and he completes the season with the type of historic statistics he’s been on pace for most of the season.
If I was a bettor, I’d wager that over these final seven games Thomas’ workload will be similar to what he got from the Bruins after they clinched the playoffs March 22, 2009. That season, they had nine games left and Thomas played in five, including the regular-season finale. I would expect Thomas to get four of the seven starts, including the regular-season finale in New Jersey, as this postseason approaches.
It’s important for Thomas to get some rest, even if he says he feels fine.
“Usually you can tell how I’m feeling physically because you’re going to see it on the ice, see it in my play. And I’ve been playing pretty good and I think it shows in my movement,” he said.
As for taking his foot off the gas now that the playoffs — an inevitable achievement for some time — are in the bag, Thomas says he’s going to replicate the approach that got him on the cusp of a second Vezina in three seasons.
“It doesn’t change. It should be the same,” he said. “I think that’s the rhythm to get into, whether it’s game five of the season, game 20 of the season, game 78 of the season. To a certain extent, every game in the playoffs should be the same preparation.”
Maybe that preparation should include a little work with a joke writer. But if he just wants to stop pucks and win games, the Bruins would be content with that.