Tag: Tim Thomas


Panthers will keep playing Team USA candidate Thomas ‘a lot’


Tim Thomas has started 10 straight games since Peter Horachek took over for Kevin Dineen as the head coach in Florida and, if Horachek has his way, that number could double before another goalie gets a shot.

“He is the strength back there. He’s our best penalty killer. He’s an important factor,” Horachek told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “The fact that he’s playing all the time is just because we need to keep pushing forward.

“We’re going to utilize him a lot.”

All things considered, Thomas has been impressive after a year-long NHL sabbatical. The Panthers are bad and he missed extensive time early with a groin injury, but has still managed to post a 6-8-1 record with a .909 save percentage and 2.75 GAA. The 39-year-old had arguably his finest outing of the season in a 3-1 win over Philly on Monday — stopping 38 of 39 shots — and has helped the Panthers secure points in four of their last six games.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported Thomas had played well enough to make USA Hockey’s shortlist of six goalies for the 2014 Olympics, along with Ryan Miller, Jimmy Howard, Cory Schneider, Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick.

As such, Horachek’s remarks about maximizing Thomas’ workload become quite interesting. It sounds as though he’ll have numerous opportunities to both showcase himself and knock off any lingering rust from his time away from the game, which would be two big pluses for his Olympic candidacy.

“He’s a difference-maker,” Horacek said. “The fact that he could take a year off and come back and play shows what kind of goaltender he is.”

PHT lists #WhyImThankful

Teemu Selanne
1 Comment

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Joe Yerdon and James O’Brien, PHT’s two American writers who will be enjoying a day off today, have each come up with a list of five hockey-related things for which they’re thankful. Feel free to add yours in the comments section, and we hope you enjoy the holiday, as well as tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Showdown between the Rangers and Bruins, on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.


1. Legends who keep on keepin’ on: How great is it to see Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr, and Martin Brodeur still playing in 2013-2014? Think about all the accolades, all the goals, all the points, and all the Stanley Cups these guys have won and the fact that they’re into their 40s and still at it. Let’s ignore that it’s likely Brodeur’s final year and definitely Selanne’s last season and just marvel that they’re still top-level players now, 20 years (or more) after it all began.

2. Non-stop jersey debates: You need look no further than Twitter to find out what fans think of different jerseys. Heck, look at any of the posts we’ve done here about a team sporting new duds. People fear change no matter how it’s dressed up. Remember when everyone hated the Dallas Stars’ new look? Now it seems to be considered one of the best in the league that’s not from an Original Six team. No matter what a team does, be it a new third jerseysomething for the Stadium Series or Winter Classic, and even the Olympics — people are going to bark about it.

3. Terrible music in warm-ups: If you’ve ever gotten to a game in time to see the teams warm up, you know you’re about to be assailed with some of the most current music out there. Depending on your tastes, that’s either really good or god-awful. For a guy stuck in the 90s like me, it’s mostly terrible. That won’t stop me from developing musical Stockholm Syndrome though. Take this song for instance – it’s what the Maple Leafs, until recently, warmed up to and I’d heard pumping out of the Bruins room after a win.

What’s the lesson here? No matter how stuck in your ways you might be with tunes, you’ll find a way to like something new (and probably bad).

4. Players doing charity: This seems like a no-brainer thing to be thankful for, but how do you not love this? Whether it’s because I’ve matured or I’ve discovered it’s OK to be human and let good works make you smile, seeing teams visit children’s hospitals and doing other good things in the community just makes you feel good. For example, check out what the Detroit Red Wings did recently at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Is someone cutting onions in here? I need a minute.

5. Players I grew up adoring becoming executives: Listen, it can’t be avoided. We’re all going to get older as time wears on and for all of us that means different things. Being a hockey writer here and at NHL.com, that means getting to talk to plenty of players, coaches, and team executives. In a lot of those situations it means I’m interviewing people whose jerseys I owned or would stay up to all hours to watch on TV to cheer or jeer. After doing the work you have to do, you have to check yourself and say, “Whoa, I just talked to Patrick Roy/Brendan Shanahan/Steve Yzerman/Cam Neely/Chris Chelios/Jeremy Roenick.” Getting the 13-year-old me to stop yelling at me about how cool that is takes some effort.


1. The continued mystery that is the Toronto Maple Leafs: Coming into the 2013-14 season, it seemed like “traditionalists” and “stats nerds” were having a turf war over the Maple Leafs. One side argues they’re a quality team while the other believes they’re riding a locomotive fueled by luck. Through nearly two months, the case study remains delightfully unsettled. If there’s one consensus, it is that Toronto is fascinating to watch. And hardcore hockey fans should be grateful for it.

2. Roberto Luongo’s Twitter feed: Speaking of reliable entertainment, Luongo’s tweets bring the funny on such a steady basis. One great comic tactic is to pour on the self-deprecation. By making himself the butt of many jokes, he doesn’t come off looking like a jerk when he’s dropping barbs on his buddy Tim Thomas. It’s as effective as a stand-up ending a roast segment by flattering his battered verbal victim.Of course, the most important thing is that his jokes are usually really funny. There are other great feeds out there, but Bobby Lou’s takes the gold medal.

3. Olympic goalie debates: That segues nicely into Olympic roster debates, most precisely about goalies. The notion that netminders can be the great equalizer makes for some spine-tingling debates. Should Luongo be Canada’s guy again? Which of the six choices is the best for the United States? Who’s the best option from Finland’s jaw-dropping goalie factory? Being that Ryan Miller nearly willed a scrappy but over-matched American team to a gold medal in 2010, it’s more interesting to discuss who deserves to start instead of, say, who should barely make the roster.

4. Sidney Crosby’s health: Whether you love him or hate him (or just think he’s OK), the NHL is a more interesting and exhilarating place when Sidney Crosby is off the IR. Unfortunately, it’s felt like Crosby has been the hockey equivalent of a cartoon character with an anvil hovering over its head for the last few years. Whether it be concussions or an errant puck breaking his jaw, injury luck hasn’t been on his side, arguably costing him a Hart Trophy or two in the process. Luckily, he’s still just 26, so hopefully he can stay healthy. Even those who can’t stand him might be surprised when they miss him once he’s gone.

5. Tim Thomas and Ilya Bryzgalov, back in the NHL: It feels like bonus time because it was far from guaranteed that either goalie would play in the NHL this season. Thomas is a two-time Vezina winner who was forced to audition for a job with fledgling Florida. The Oilers needed to hit a goaltending glacier before they finally played Bryzgalov’s music. One can only speculate if any of the other 28 teams would have given either one of them a shot.

Goalie nods: Greiss goes for Coyotes, Lindback for Bolts

Anders Lindback
1 Comment

News and notes from the crease on a very busy Wednesday…

Greiss starts for Phoenix

Little-used backup Thomas Greiss will go for the Coyotes tonight as they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Greiss has only played once this month — stopping four shots in relief of Mike Smith on Saturday — but has good numbers on the year, posting a 2-1-0 record with a 2.37 GAA and .928 save percentage.

He’ll be taking on Niklas Backstrom, who’ll play his third straight game for the Wild.

Lindback in for Tampa Bay

Another little-used backup will get the nod on Wednesday as Anders Lindback starts for Tampa Bay.

Lindback has only made seven appearances this year and has struggled, going 1-5-0 with a 3.47 GAA and .872 save percentage. Ben Bishop has taken Tampa’s No. 1 job and run with it, all but nullifying head coach Jon Cooper’s early-season assertion that he had “two starting goalies.”

Tampa Bay will host the Flyers tonight, and Ray Emery will be in the Philadelphia goal.


— Jonas Gustavsson gets the nod for Detroit over Jimmy Howard (read more here). The Wings are hosting Boston, and the Bruins will go with Tuukka Rask.

— Martin Brodeur starts over Corey Schneider for New Jersey (which has Schneider frustrated — read more here). Brodeur will square off with Cam Ward, who gets the start for the ‘Canes.

— Finnish phenom Antti Raanta will make his first NHL start for Chicago (read more here). The Hawks are going up against Calgary, and Reto Berra will be in goal.

— Carey Price will take on Ryan Miller in the Montreal-Buffalo game, Craig Anderson will take on Braden Holtby in Sens-Caps, Marek Mazanec will face off with Sergei Bobrovsky in the Preds-Jackets game and Jonathan Bernier will go head-to-head with Marc-Andre Fleury in Toronto-Pittsburgh.

— Cool matchup in Florida tonight as Henrik Lundqvist goes up against Tim Thomas, renewing their rivalry from the Rangers-Bruins days.

— Jaro Halak vs. Semyon Varlamov tonight in Colorado.

— Still no word on who the Kings and Sharks will be starting, but expect it to be Ben Scrivens vs. Antti Niemi.

Thomas, Panthers end Flyers’ latest streak


With Tim Thomas seemingly healthy again, the Florida Panthers are showing signs of competence. That continued on Monday, as they beat Philly 3-1, ending the Flyers’ latest winning streak at three games.

Thomas stopped a season-high 38 shots, only being beaten by Wayne Simmonds. The 39-year-old is almost at .500 individually, as he improved his record to 6-7-1 with a solid .914 save percentage and 2.66 GAA.

Sean Bergenheim was the other standout performer for the Panthers, scoring his first two goals of 2013-14.

The Flyers go back under .500 (10-11-2) tonight, but they’re still generally trending upward. Philadelphia has won six of tits last eight games, and this is the first time since Nov. 7 that the Flyers haven’t garnered a standings point.

Goalie nods: Reimer goes back-to-back, Thomas starts ninth straight

James Reimer

News and notes from around the crease…

Leafs ride Reimer

James Reimer will be in goal for Toronto tonight as the Leafs take on Columbus at the Air Canada Centre.

Reimer earned his second straight nod after a brilliant performance on Saturday, stopping 49 of 50 shots in a 2-1 shootout victory over the Capitals. The win pushed Reimer’s home stats into the eye-popping territory — he’s now 4-0-0 at the ACC this year, with a 1.96 GAA and .951 save percentage.

Columbus has not yet named its starting goalie, but Sergei Bobrovsky appears likely.

Panthers keep Thomas busy

Tim Thomas will start his ninth straight game on Monday at home vs. Philly.

The 39-year-old has been solid for the Panthers of late, going 3-4-1 with a 2.59 GAA and .911 save percentage as the club has secured at least a point in four straight games.

He’ll be up against Steve Mason in the Flyers’ net, another goalie who’s been hot as of late — Mason stopped 36 of 38 shots in an OT win over the Islanders on Saturday and is now 4-1-2 in November, with a 1.93 GAA and .940 save percentage.


— Big matchup in Boston tonight between the Bruins and Penguins, a game in which both teams will start their respect No. 1s. Marc-Andre Fleury goes for the Pens while Tuukka Rask counters for the Bruins.

— It’s Ondrej Pavelec vs. Martin Brodeur in the Winnipeg-New Jersey game, and Henrik Lundqvist vs. Ben Bishop in the Rangers-Lightning game.

— With Josh Harding hurt, Niklas Backstrom will get a second straight game for the Wild on Monday in St. Louis. The Finnish netminder stopped 37 of 39 shots in a win over Winnipeg on the weekend. It’s unclear who the Blues will start on goal.

— Still no confirmation on the late games (Phoenix vs. Nashville, L.A. vs. Vancouver), but Edmonton has announced Devan Dubnyk, the NHL’s third star last week, will go up against the Blackhawks. Chicago has yet to name its starter but if they do go with Corey Crawford, it’ll be his 15th straight appearance.