Cherry: Bruins’ Thomas ‘best goalie of all-time’ & Bruins will win

Thomas/By S. Bradley

We all know CBC “Coach’s Corner” host Don Cherry is prone to hyperbole.

Well, he threw a doozy into his comments about the Bruins-Montreal playoff series today during a conference call with some of the big-name television personalities that will be calling the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Cherry was asked what he thought about the series between the team he coached in the ’70s and the team that three times eliminated the Bruins from the postseason in the last three years of his reign.

“Well, Boston hammered them the last time 7-0. But Montreal holds the series 4-2. But they’re not the same team without [injured defensemen] Josh Gorges and [Andrei] Markov. That is the big killer to them right off the bat,” said Cherry.

“Timmy Thomas in with Boston, the best goalie — if you look at the record — the best goalie of all time. And [Montreal's Carey] Price has got to live up to [former Habs goalie Jaroslav] Halak. He’s had a great season, but he’s got to do what Halak did last year. Everybody will be eyes on him.

“Should be a dandy [series]. I don’t think there will be any trouble, as they say, unless there is a blowout. So it should be another good, tough one, and I’m picking the B’s to win.”

Yes, Cherry put Thomas and “best goalie of all-time” in a sentence. Everyone in Boston loves Tim Thomas, who will be a two-time Vezina Trophy winner when this season’s through. But best of all-time? Cherry was obviously just getting caught up in the new all-time record for save percentage in a season Thomas set this year.

Anyway, Cherry was later asked about the need for both the Bruins and Habs to keep their cool during an emotional series.

“Well, everybody realizes it’s the playoffs. You can’t go running around,” said Cherry. “As long as the game is close, you have to play it smart. No retaliatory, dumb penalties or things like that. If you have any marks you have to collect, you don’t start collecting them in the playoffs.

“Everybody knows you get a guy like [Bruins forward Mark] Recchi in the room, and he calms everybody down. And Montreal’s been there before, [Michael] Cammalleri and that, you get that under control.

“Although, if the game, like I said earlier, gets out of control and somebody runs up the score … talk about bad feelings, and this has been going on since the ’70s, the bad feelings. But you have it pretty well under control in the playoffs.”

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