At one point not too long ago, the Boston Bruins seemed like an unstoppable wrecking ball of a team. The defending champions represented the most compelling choice for back-to-back Cup wins in quite some time.
In good times and bad, much of the focus shines upon two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Tim Thomas. (That seems especially fair since he allowed six Florida Panthers goals last night.) CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty caught up with the struggling goalie, who seems downright stumped right now.
“[I] don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a run like this,” Thomas said. “We’re stuck. I don’t have answers.”
Thomas certainly hasn’t provided many answers in March in particular. He’s 3-5-0 in that time, but it’s his individual numbers that are of a bigger concern. Thomas has a hideous .842 save percentage and a ghastly 4.06 GAA in nine unsettling appearances this month.
(Feel free to peruse his split stats and game log if you want to hatch White House slump-related conspiracy theories – start with Jan. 31’s game – but it’s especially clear that times have been rough since March rolled around. Personally, I think it’s a coincidence, but an amusing one in that.)
Thomas isn’t responsible for the slump alone, but his numbers jump out the most. With Tuukka Rask seemingly far from a return from injury and Marty Turco looking rusty – to put it kindly – Thomas and the Bruins must look within for the answers to their plaguing questions.
Then again, maybe they should just look at their Stanley Cup rings – and all the times when their run almost fell short in 2011 – and realize that it was never supposed to be as easy as it looked from November to mid-January.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
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.
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
“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.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
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.
“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.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.