Tag: Tim Thomas


Goalie nods: Bobrovsky gets rare night off, Halak starts second straight for Caps


News and notes from around the crease…

McElhinney goes for Jackets

Columbus will give starting netminder Sergei Bobrovsky a rare night off on Monday, as backup Curtis McElhinney will start for the first time since Jan. 28.

McElhinney has seen game action recently, mind you — he stopped 13 of 15 shots in relief of Bobrovsky during Thursday’s 6-1 thumping against Chicago. But it’s been a while since Columbus had to rely on McElhinney consistently, like it did when Bobrovsky went down to a groin injury in late November.

As for the goalie Columbus will be facing, Tim Thomas gets his first start as a member of the Dallas Stars tonight. He’ll be taking the place of Kari Lehtonen, who is sidelined by a concussion. Thomas came on in relief of Lehtonen during Saturday’s big 4-3 win over Minnesota, stopping all six shots faced.

(For more on the Blue Jackets and their playoff chase, click here.)

Halak back in for Washington

The Caps will go back to Jaroslav Halak tonight against Pittsburgh, after he stopped 31 of 33 shots for a win in his Washington debut on Saturday against Phoenix.

Acquired from Buffalo at the deadline in exchange for Michal Neuvirth, Halak has a real opportunity to win the No. 1 job in D.C. — Neuvirth is gone (obviously), Braden Holtby has struggled at times this year and Philipp Grubauer doesn’t seem ready to shoulder a full-time load in the NHL. The Caps need wins to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, and they could turn to Halak to get them.

For the Pens, Jeff Zatkoff gets the nod tonight.


Predators at Senators: Pekka Rinne vs. Craig Anderson

Coyotes at Lightning: Mike Smith vs. Ben Bishop

Jets at Avalanche: Al Montoya vs. Semyon Varlamov

Kings at Flames: Martin Jones vs. Joni Ortio

Isles at Canucks: Evgeni Nabokov vs. Eddie Lack

Leafs at Ducks: Jonathan Bernier vs. Frederik Andersen

Lehtonen ‘not doing very well’ with concussion, so it’s Timmy time in Dallas


The Stars are fighting for their playoff lives and just lost their starting goalie to injury, yet nobody’s freaking out.


Because their No. 2 goalie isn’t a run-of-the-mill backup.

It’s Tim Thomas, acquired last Wednesday in a trade deadline deal with Florida. The 40-year-old, less than three years removed from winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP during Boston’s Stanley Cup championship, is now primed to be Dallas’ No. 1 after Kari Lehtonen suffered a concussion on this nasty collision with Minnesota forward Erik Haula:

Looks like Thomas will be the guy in goal for the next while. Ruff — who, prior to Lehtonen getting hurt, suggested that Thomas would get a shot at the No. 1 gig anyway — knows what Thomas brings to the table, and is excited to see it.

“He’s not your conventional type of goaltender, but we knew that going in,” Ruff told the Dallas Morning-News. “He’s a battler, he’s athletic. He’s been in the fire before and knows how to handle it, and that experience can help us.”

The big question now is, how much can Dallas rely on Timmy?

He was a workhorse at times for Florida this season, serving as the Panthers’ goalie of record for nearly a full month straight:


So, it stands to reason he’s ready for Dallas’ stretch drive. The Stars play 11 times over the next 19 days, including back-to-backs tonight (vs. Columbus) and tomorrow (vs. St. Louis), then on Mar. 28-29 against the Preds and Blues.

Dallas GM Jim Nill said he made the Thomas deal because the Stars are “serious about making the playoffs and making a statement in the playoffs.” And 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).

So, they made the move expecting Thomas to play a role — maybe not one this big, but a role nonetheless. As for Thomas, he says he’s just excited to be part of the playoff chase.

“The intensity … it’s fun to be a part of,” he said. “To me, it makes it easier to play.”

Bryzgalov will indeed debut for Wild on Sunday

Phoenix Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers

Ilya Bryzgalov already made an impact in Minnesota, but he hasn’t played for the Wild yet. That will change on Sunday, as he’ll debut for his new team against the red-hot St. Louis Blues.

The Blues take their 17-0-1 record against Central Division teams into Sunday’s game, but they’ll give Ryan Miller a breather after their new No.1 rattled off four straight wins. Brian Elliott gets a chance to prove that he can at least spell Miller here and there if he can get this win.

Bryzgalov, 33, experienced ups and downs in his 20 games with the Edmonton Oilers, going 5-8-5 with a .908 save percentage and 3.01 GAA. Much like Tim Thomas in Dallas, those highs and lows with a team failing to contend don’t mean nearly as much as what he may do for a team battling for positioning.

It’s a crowded situation in the Wild net, so Bryzgalov has a lot to prove beginning tonight.

With Lehtonen injured, Stars recall Nilstorp


The Dallas Stars are still awaiting more information about what they’re alternately calling a head injury and a concussion for Kari Lehtonen, but in the meantime, they recalled goalie Cristopher Nilstorp from the AHL on Sunday.

Nilstorp, 30, has some NHL experience. He went 1-3-1 with an .897 save percentage and 3.09 GAA last season. He’s getting plenty of playing time with the AHL’s Texas Stars, producing a 21-12-4 mark with a .915 save percentage and 2.58 GAA.

The Stars would probably prefer to ride Tim Thomas for much of the time Lehtonen will be out. They’re at least finding humor in the Florida Panthers’ decision to go forward with that bobblehead idea.

Not all the injury news is bad for Dallas, by the way. Valeri Nichushkin is fine after a knee-to-knee with Matt Cooke, according to Stars Inside Edge’s Mark Stepneski.

It’s Tim Thomas bobblehead day…in Florida

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 08: Tim Thomas #30 of the Dallas Stars celebrates the win over the Dallas Stars at the third period on March 8, 2014 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Dallas won 4 to 3.

Roberto Luongo probably wasn’t the only one surprised when the Vancouver Canucks reopened trade negotiations with Florida.

At that point, the Panthers seemed committed to sticking with Tim Thomas for the rest of the season. After all, they made bobbleheads of him and everything.

Speaking of, if you still want one, they’re giving them out to 7,500 fans tonight ahead of their game against the Boston Bruins, per the Miami Herald.

They’re a collector’s item, especially seeing his jersey is wrong from the moment it enters your hands. The acquisition of Luongo prompted them to send Thomas to the Dallas Stars.

Perhaps they should have at least waited until April 6 when Florida will host Thomas’ new team, but a match against two squads that used to have two-time Vezina Trophy winner works too…