Tim Thomas has made 13 straight appearances for the Boston Bruins, and in 24 days he’ll turn 38 years old.
No surprise then that head coach Claude Julien is actively searching for ways to get the veteran netminder a break.
“We’d like to get Tim some rest here,” Julien told CSNNE.com. “Hopefully our play will dictate the way we use him moving forward. That way maybe we can get Tim some rest.”
A few things are holding this plan back. One is the play of Marty Turco, who left Austrian League outfit EC Salzburg to join the Bruins two weeks ago. While he says his conditioning has improved and he’s feeling more comfortable with the speed of the NHL, Turco’s numbers tell a different story: 0-1-0, 4.42 GAA, .824 save percentage.
To be fair, those numbers represent a small body of work.
“It’s still early since he’s come here,” Julien said of Turco. “He’s been better every single day that he’s been here and we didn’t bring him in here to sit on the bench. We hope to utilize him.
“But at the same time from an organizational standpoint you have to look at where we are in the standings.”
The standings are another reason why it’ll be tough to rest Thomas down the stretch. The B’s are in the Northeast Division driver’s seat — four points clear of Ottawa with two games in hand — but are now looking over their shoulders at the pesky Florida Panthers, who lead the Southeast Division and are just two points back of Boston for second in the East.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Bruins do with the goaltending moving forward. As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out, Boston will play every other night for the remaining 10 games of the year starting in San Jose on Thursday.