Tim Thomas

Thomas walks out on reporters: “I have the right not to answer those questions”

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Another day, another strange turn in the Tim Thomas saga.

The day after posting another politically-charged message on his official Facebook page, the Boston Bruins goalie balked at answering questions regarding his statement before cutting off the interview and walking away from reporters.

“I’m going to use my right to remain silent,” Thomas said, courtesy CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty. “You have the right to ask the questions and I have the right not to answer those questions.

“This is my job. Facebook is my personal life. If you guys don’t understand the difference between individual and job, there’s a problem.”

Thomas then said “I’m out…peace,” before ending the interview and walking away.

We highlighted this possible conundrum on PHT yesterday. The more Thomas speaks politically (and publicly), the greater the chance he’ll be asked questions about it. What’s more, the questions don’t have to be about his political leanings anymore, because this situation has entered “potential distraction” territory.

The following are all viable, hockey-related queries:

— Do you think this is a distraction for the team?

— Are your teammates supportive of you posting on Facebook?

— Has anyone within the organization spoken to you about this situation?

There’s also this to consider — the harder Thomas stonewalls reporters, the harder they’ll look elsewhere for answers. Case in point: Haggerty went to Bruins coach Claude Julien for his take on the situation.

source:

Does it sound like Julien’s pleased about how this is playing out?

Thomas can complain all he wants about reporters asking him questions about his “personal life,” but that won’t stop the questions. Maybe the Boston media will grow tired of hearing “no comment,” but what about reporters in other markets? They’ll be sure to ask him when the Bruins are in town, and then they’ll ask his teammates and coach.

When you’re a public figure and you wade into an emotionally charged political debate, that’s the deal.

Thomas has a choice — get his message out there and become a potential distraction for the team, or don’t. If he thinks getting his message out there is worth the price, he’ll do it, and so he should. But the price will remain.

Related: Here’s Haggerty on Sportsnet Central discussing the incident.

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

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A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”