After days of hints the Florida Panthers made it official on Wednesday, confirming that Tim Thomas would start in goal when they open their campaign in Dallas.
“Tim Thomas will [get the start]. For my first and last goalie announcement of the year, I usually don’t go down that line,” head coach Kevin Dineen told the team website. “But Timmy is going to get opening night and very pleased with the way he has played over the last couple of weeks in practice and in the games that he came in.
“He’s earned that net on opening night.”
Thomas’ last start was on Apr. 25, 2012 — a 2-1 OT loss to Washington in Game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs — meaning it’ll be one years, five months and eight days between games.
Needless to say, he’s excited about getting back in net.
“I’m very happy,” Thomas said. “I’m looking forward to helping get this team off to a good start.”
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.