Panthers in Boston tonight, but Thomas won’t play

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Tim Thomas is back in Boston, but not in a playing capacity.

That was the story at TD Garden on Thursday as the Panthers prepped to face the Bruins — Thomas, who led the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup, took the optional morning skate before Florida head coach Kevin Dineen said¬†the 39-year-old wouldn’t play in this evening’s affair.

(Thomas is currently on IR, but is eligible to be activated. Also, according to various reporters in Boston, Panthers PR confirmed Thomas wouldn’t be speaking to the media.)

Despite Thomas not playing, he was still a hot-button subject on Thursday, especially when Boston head coach Claude Julien was asked about Thomas’ role in the ’11 Cup win.

“Tim Thomas doesn’t win a Stanley Cup if our team doesn’t play as well as it did in front of him,” Julien explained, as per CSNNE. “This is an honest statement.

“Tim played well, but you don’t win a Stanley Cup just with a goalie.”

Thomas, who captured the Conn Smythe trophy in 2011 as playoffs MVP, finished that postseason with a 16-9 record, a 1.98 GAA and .940 save percentage.