Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven

Tim Thomas says that he doesn’t have any issues with Roberto Luongo

2 Comments

There are quite a few revenge cliches out there, but I prefer the upbeat tone of “Living well is the best revenge.”

Practically speaking, that advice might fall a bit short of being useful for many people. When you’re angry with someone, it’s tough to imagine your own triumphs burning that opponent as much as a direct confrontation. In most cases, it should probably be said that “Living well is the best [way to avoid the messy consequences of] revenge.”

Sports are one of the rare places in which you can put that philosophy to direct use, though. Winning individual trophies and the Stanley Cup must be the best hockey example of “living well,” so it makes sense when Tim Thomas says that he has no issues with Roberto Luongo, whom he beat out for the Vezina Trophy and Stanley Cup in 2010-11.

Perhaps Thomas should even thank Luongo for deflating his tires in that championship round. It’s hard to imagine a player getting more inspiration to succeed than the chance to raise the Cup, but Thomas was also asked to defend his unorthodox style even after proving its merit countless times during the winding road that has been his NHL career.

Luongo recently admitted that he regrets his comments about Thomas during that seven-game series, but Thomas reiterated that he doesn’t have any hard feelings for Bobby Lou.

Tim Thomas had his second day with the Stanley Cup on Saturday, taking the trophy back to his alma mater the University of Vermont, where he played four seasons (1993-97) and led the Catamounts to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, including a Frozen Four in 1996.

Thomas was asked about his unorthodox goaltending style, and he referenced that opponents still question his technique. Following a press conference at the university, Thomas was asked if he had the chance to speak with Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo — who earlier this summer admitted that he regretted questioning Thomas’ goaltending style following Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals — at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Thomas said it was never an issue as far as he was concerned.

“That was the media,” Thomas said. “We’re fine.”

At this point in his career, Thomas shouldn’t have much more to prove. Thomas proved that his first Vezina Trophy season wasn’t a fluke by adding another one to his mantle while also earning a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy. Going forward, his feisty competitive spirit (and maybe a dark horse candidacy for a Hall of Fame bid?) are the two things that might drive him to maintain his place as an all-world goalie.

Thomas is probably used to slights after fighting through European leagues and finally finding a place in the NHL, so it’s nice that he’s not bothered by those comments – or at least he’s saying the right things publicly. His opponents might want to think twice about critiquing his style in the future, though.

Lightning strikes: Bolts even series with Islanders

Leave a comment

Tyler Johnson began the playoffs as a game-time decision for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their series with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s now among the top point producers this post-season.

Needing a win to even the series before it shifts north to Brooklyn, the Lightning earned a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon. Series tied, 1-1. As for Johnson, the diminutive but skilled forward, he led the Bolts with a three-point night and is up to 10 points in the playoffs.

He opened the scoring versus the Islanders and finished it with an empty-netter to negate any late comeback attempt.

Still without Steven Stamkos, the Lightning got another strong game from Jonathan Drouin, who entered this series without a goal. But he changed that, giving the host team a two-goal lead in the opening period of Game 2. That goal would be the eventual winner.

Corey Perry: ‘I take a lot of blame for what happened’ after Ducks bounced in first round

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 11:  Ryan Getzlaf #15 and Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks watch from the bench during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on April 11, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

After a first-round playoff loss that resulted in the firing of coach Bruce Boudreau, players were forced to answer for such a disappointing end to the Anaheim Ducks’ season.

The Ducks were last in the West at the holiday break but went flying up the standings in the second half of the season, claiming the Pacific Division. But they couldn’t close out the Nashville Predators in the opening round, despite a 3-2 series lead, and Boudreau was sent packing.

Ducks GM Bob Murray then let the players have it, blasting the core group and their performance, especially in the first two games of the series, and strongly suggesting there would be some big changes in Anaheim leading up to next season.

“I take a lot of blame for what happened,” said Corey Perry, as per the Ducks’ website. “I didn’t score a goal. I take a lot of responsibility. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform.”

In seven games, the 30-year-old Perry, who just concluded the third year of an eight-year contract with a cap hit of $8.625 million, had four assists. But, as he said, no goals.

On Boudreau’s dismissal, Perry added: “He did a lot for my game. It’s tough when you know the reason somebody got fired is because we as a team and as individuals didn’t perform to where we needed to perform, and that’s the hardest thing. You lose four Game 7s at home, and he has nothing really do with what we did on the ice. We’re performing, we’re playing and we have to hold ourselves accountable. And I think a lot of guys are doing that.”

 

Marquette, Michigan is your Kraft Hockeyville 2016 winner

1 Comment

Huge congrats to the community of Marquette, MI and the Lakeview Arena — after an exciting voting process, Marquette has been named the winner of the Kraft Hockeyville 2016 competition.

As a result, Lakeview will receive $150,000 in arena upgrades, and will host an Oct. 4 preseason game broadcast on NBCSN between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes.

More, from the NHL:

Marquette is rich in hockey heritage and Lakeview Arena stands as a pillar of the community, stimulating the local economy since it opened in 1973. Lakeview Arena’s semi-pro Marquette Iron Rangers signed the first female professional hockey player in North American history, Karen Koch.

Lakeview Arena will prioritize energy efficiency updates with the grand prize money in addition to other arena upgrades to ensure future generations of Marquette players are able to enjoy skating at Lakeview Arena for years to come.

“We’ve seen amazing participation across the country in Kraft Hockeyville USA’s second year,” said Nina Barton, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kraft Heinz. “This year’s contest led to millions of votes from passionate hockey fans, and we’re so proud America has chosen the spirited, well-deserving community of Marquette as Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016.”

Marquette was just one of more than a thousand communities across the country that submitted stories showing their hockey spirit and passion.

The runner-up, Rushmore Thunderdome of Rapid City, S.D., will receive $75,000 to use toward arena upgrades.

For more on this year’s Kraft Hockeyville competition, click here.

2016 Lady Byng finalists: Barkov, Eriksson and Kopitar

Slovenia forward Anze Kopitar, left, and Sweden forward Loui Eriksson battle for the puck in the second period of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
AP
3 Comments

The low penalty minutes and high point totals are in, and thus we have the 2016 NHL Awards’ three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy: Aleksander Barkov, Loui Eriksson and Anze Kopitar.

OK, the actual definition for the award is that it goes “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

Same difference, eh?

Barkov really made a breakthrough this season with the Florida Panthers, scoring 59 points versus just eight penalty minutes. He only has 34 PIM in 191 career regular season contests.

You can see Eriksson and Kopitar representing their respective countries in this post’s main image. Eriksson enjoyed his best (and maybe last?) season with the Boston Bruins while Kopitar hopes to win the 2016 Selke as the Los Angeles Kings’ defensively adept – yet apparently courteous – forward.

It’s unclear who wins this “fight,” but one would assume it wouldn’t be a dirty one.