Dale Tallon acknowledged Tim Thomas wasn’t happy with the deal that sent him to Dallas — “I don’t blame him for being upset,” Tallon told the Florida Sun-Sentinel — but according to his new head coach, Thomas might be getting a golden opportunity.
“I want to give Tim the opportunity to play,” Stars bench boss Lindy Ruff said, per the Dallas Morning News. “If he plays well, I’ll give him the chance to play.”
Dallas GM Jim Nill said he made this deal because the Stars are “serious about making the playoffs and making a statement in the playoffs.” Ruff knows the importance of postseason goaltending, as his deepest runs in Buffalo came on the strength of outstanding performances by Dominik Hasek (’99 Stanley Cup Final) and Ryan Miller (’06 and ’07 Conference Finals). While Lehtonen is the No. 1 in Dallas, his postseason resume — two games — pales to that of Thomas’.
What’s more, Thomas has the chance for starts with Dallas’ busy schedule down the stretch:
That’s 20 games in 38 days for a team clinging to the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. The Stars have a pair of back-to-backs and will play seven of their final 10 games on the road — at that point, the decision as to who starts in goal will undoubtedly come down to who gives Dallas the best chance of winning.
According to Nill, winning is exactly why he brought Thomas aboard.
“We had the opportunity to pick up a goalie who has won a Stanley Cup and has strong playoff experience,” he explained. “This solidifies maybe the most important position on the team.”
Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?