Tag: Tim Thomas


Goalie nods: Halak starts again, Mason goes for Flyers


News and notes from around the crease…

Caps riding Halak

Jaroslav Halak will make his seventh straight start on Thursday when the Caps take on the Kings in L.A.

Halak, who has all but taken Washington’s No. 1 gig and bolted Braden Holtby to the pine, was brilliant in his last outing, stopping 43 of 45 shots in a 3-2 win over the Ducks in Anaheim. The Slovakian netminder is now 4-2-0 since joining the Caps at the trade deadline, with a .931 save percentage and 2.35 GAA.

For the Kings, Jonathan Quick is likely to get the start.

Mason back in

The red-hot Philadelphia Flyers will go back to Steve Mason tonight against Dallas.

Mason, who will be starting for the ninth time in the last 10 games, got a rest on Tuesday (when Ray Emery beat Chicago), which came after winning back-to-back games against Pittsburgh over the weekend. The former Columbus ‘tender has stopped 69 of the last 74 shots he’s faced, and has seen his overall save percentage rise to .914 on the year as a result.

For the Stars, it looks as though Tim Thomas will get the nod in net.


Wild at Devils: Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Cory Schneider (read more on Bryz here)

Blue Jackets at Canadiens: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Carey Price

Bolts at Sens: Robin Lehner for Ottawa; Ben Bishop likely for Tampa Bay

Pens at Red Wings: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Jimmy Howard

Sabres at Oilers: Matt Hackett vs. Ben Scrivens

Panthers at Coyotes: Roberto Luongo vs. Mike Smith

Ducks at Sharks: Antti Niemi for San Jose; Frederik Andersen likely for Anaheim.

With Lehtonen healthy, Stars return Nilstorp to AHL


Dallas appears ready for Kari Lehtonen to make his return from a concussion, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

The Stars returned third-string goalie Cristopher Nilstorp to AHL Texas on Monday, one day after Nilstorp had to make a relief appearance of Tim Thomas in Sunday’s ugly 7-2 loss to the Jets.

Thomas was lit up for four goals on 16 shots in yesterday’s loss, and was hooked just 29 seconds into the second period after Olli Jokinen scored to give the Jets a 4-2 lead. The 39-year-old veteran hasn’t exactly been stellar in his four games in a Stars sweater — going 2-1-1 with a .892 save percentage and 3.31 GAA — so Dallas will be keen to get Lehtonen back in goal for the playoff push.

The Finnish netminder has been out of action since suffering a concussion versus Minnesota on Mar. 8. Dallas, meanwhile, is currently tied with Phoenix on 75 points but holds the final wild card spot via tiebreaker (fewer games played). Vancouver sits just three back of the Stars and Coyotes, with 72 points.

It’s unclear if Lehtonen will be selected to start for Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh, but the Nilstorp reassignment means he’s eligible to be.

Playoff race update: Jets smash Stars, muddy West picture

Antoine Roussel, Blake Wheeler

With less than a month remaining in the 2013-14 regular season, winning against fellow playoff bubble teams matters … but winning in regulation is a much sweeter victory.

The Winnipeg Jets probably did so most emphatically, as they didn’t slow down after chasing Tim Thomas on Sunday, ultimately pounding the West’s current final wild card team by an eye-popping score of 7-2.

This win emboldens Winnipeg’s chances (even if only slightly) while making Dallas’ grip a little looser on that final playoff spot. Let’s take a quick look through both conferences to see where things are at heading into Monday.

  • It wasn’t pretty, but the Vancouver Canucks avoided a loss against Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers, taking an important 4-3 shootout win. Eddie Lack exhales.
  • Winnipeg’s win is good news for the idle Phoenix Coyotes, who are tied with the Stars points-wise, although Dallas has a game in hand. The Stars and Coyotes may very well have a playoff spot on the line when they meet in Glendale on April 13.
  • In the upper ranks of the Central Division, the Colorado Avalanche stayed a point ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks after the Avs beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 while Chicago bested Detroit 4-1.
  • Meanwhile, the idle Anaheim Ducks still hold a game in hand over the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks won 1-0 against the New York Rangers to give them six wins in a row and 97 standings points (the same as the Ducks, who have played 68 games to San Jose’s 69).

Here’s the West outlook, via NHL.com:


Here’s an even quicker summary of the East action:

  • In the bubble, Detroit lost some ground to the Washington Capitals. Both the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes fell short against the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers respectively, leaving their outlooks that much dimmer.
  • In the Atlantic Division, the Montreal Canadiens won their game to leave them second in the division while the Toronto Maple Leafs squandered an opportunity to increase their breathing room at third. The idle Tampa Bay Lightning (first wild card spot) are only one point behind Toronto with two games in hand.
  • The Metropolitan Division saw a little upheaval. The Philadelphia Flyers’ win against the Pittsburgh Penguins hurts other teams in the division, as the New York Rangers were pushed down to the East’s final wild card spot (thanks also to their 1-0 loss against the Sharks). The idle Columbus Blue Jackets’ playoff hopes look a little safer after losses for Washington and New York.

Need the numbers and standings? Understandable enough:


Jets chase Tim Thomas early in second period

Dallas Stars v St. Louis Blues

Tim Thomas barely made it into the second period of Sunday’s important game between the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets before he was pulled for backup Cristopher Nilstorp.

Whether you paint it as Thomas having a tough go of things (four goals allowed on 17 shots), a message to the Stars from head coach Lindy Ruff (allowing 17 shots in a little more than a period is … less than ideal) or a combination of the two, this outing might make the Stars more anxious to get Kari Lehtonen back.

One thing that seems reasonable to say is that Blake Wheeler was a thorn in Thomas’ side on Sunday; he collected a primary assist on three of the four goals Thomas allowed.

Wheeler’s third helper came on this Olli Jokinen tally, which was the last straw:

Stars’ Lehtonen aiming to return Sunday vs. Winnipeg

Kari Lehtonen

Kari Lehtonen’s recovery from a concussion is going well enough that the Dallas Stars are aiming for him to start on Sunday.

Lehtonen was injured against the Minnesota Wild on March 8 when Erik Haula violently collided with him, knocking him out of the game. As Steve Hunt from NHL.com shares, the Stars are encouraged by Lehtonen’s progress.

“Kari will get tested,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “Obviously he’s looked good the last couple days. He’ll go through his protocol. We’ll get an update later [Friday] and if that update is good he’ll be available in all likelihood to play our next game.”

That game is Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets. In the meantime, Tim Thomas has started the team’s past two games earning an overtime win against St. Louis and a shootout loss to Calgary. The game against Columbus on Monday was postponed after Rich Peverley’s cardiac incident.

Lehtonen’s progress has been impressive especially after he was said to be “not doing well” just two days after being injured. Concussions are curious injuries.