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

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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.

Video: AHL goalie Jonas Gustavsson scores his first career goal

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He didn’t shoot, but Jonas Gustavsson still scored.

The former NHL netminder, now with the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL, scored his first career goal Friday, as part of his team’s victory over the San Diego Gulls.

From the AHL:

With San Diego goaltender Dustin Tokarski on the bench for an extra attacker and the Gulls working on a power play, Gustavsson made a save before an errant San Diego pass slid down the length of the ice and into the vacated net at 16:56 of the third period.

Gustavsson is the fifth AHL goaltender to be credited with a goal without actually shooting the puck into the opposition net. In addition to his goal, Gustavsson stopped 30 of 31 shots in the Condors victory.

Bolts and Islanders both win, which is bad news for Bruins

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The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning each had to work overtime to decide their separate games, but when they ended, both clubs were victorious.

And that makes things even more interesting in the Eastern Conference wild card race.

With their shootout win in Pittsburgh, the Islanders tie the Bruins in points but take over the final playoff spot for now with fewer games played. The Lightning, despite an abundance of injuries all season, are just a point back of Boston and New York.

Nikita Kucherov scored the winner for Tampa Bay against the Red Wings. He’s up to 38 goals, which is second most in the league behind Sidney Crosby, currently at 42 goals.

Sellers leading up to the trade deadline, and without Steven Stamkos since the middle of November, the Lightning are in the thick of this race, even if others may have counted them out.

“Once again, people counted us out,” defenseman Victor Hedman told the Tampa Bay Times. “But we showed a lot of character. And we’re right back in it.”

The Bolts don’t play again until Monday, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks — only one of the hottest teams in the league.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s busy slate of games includes a showdown between the Bruins and Islanders. For Boston, it’s a chance for redemption after a particularly costly third period against Tampa Bay on Thursday.

What is wrong with the Sharks?

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Not that long ago, the San Jose Sharks appeared well on their way to winning the Pacific Division title.

On March 14, they had a seven-point lead on both Anaheim and Calgary. Gone is that advantage. Not only have the Ducks surged back into the fight for the division, but the Sharks have lost five in a row and are having a terrible time of late creating any offense.

The Ducks defeated the Jets on Friday, moving into a tie with the Sharks at 91 points.

San Jose’s struggles hit a new low Friday with a 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, a team with its own flaws and nowhere close to a playoff position.

At one point midway through the second period, the Sharks trailed the Stars by four goals and had only six lousy shots on goal. During this skid, San Jose has scored only five goals.

Earlier this week, members of the Sharks said they weren’t terribly worried about this losing streak. The losses, they had said, were in close games, which is true: San Jose lost three consecutive one-goal games.

“When I look at the losing streak, we dominated some of those games for long periods and found ways to lose. You never like to lose, but I’m not that concerned,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “We’ve got to obviously end it. We’ve got to get healthy. I don’t see a bunch of symptoms of a team that can’t get this fixed pretty quickly.”

This, however, was a blowout. Adam Cracknell recorded the hat trick, pushing his single-season career-high in goals to 10.

The performance at one point forced DeBoer to take a timeout, in which he expressed his displeasure.

Making matters worse for the Sharks: Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the game early in the third period and was put under further evaluation. He didn’t return.

The Sharks visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Halak and the Islanders defeat Penguins, move into wild card spot

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Quite a hockey game between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

It offered plenty to enjoy — Phil Kessel‘s dominant but unfruitful shift in overtime, a combined 86 shots on goal between both teams, a showcase of skill from the likes of John Tavares and Sidney Crosby, and two strong goaltending performances from Jaroslav Halak and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Josh Ho-Sang, who wears No. 66, which is just fine in the eyes of Mario Lemieux, set up Brock Nelson‘s goal in the second period.

The Islanders and their fans probably aren’t hung up on style points at this juncture of the season. They just care about wins and points in the standings, and those are exactly what New York accomplished with a 4-3 shootout win in Pittsburgh.

Anthony Beauvillier and Tavares scored for the Islanders in the shootout. Halak made 37 stops, including a game-saver in overtime off Matt Cullen. Halak trapped the puck, which was right on the goal line, between his legs on a chance from in front. The play was reviewed but no goal.

The win gives the Islanders 82 points, which is the same total as the struggling Boston Bruins.

However, the Islanders, with one game in hand on the Bruins, take over the final wild card spot in the East for now.