B's to Thomas: Don't you ever change


B's to Thomas: Don't you ever change

By DannyPicard

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The Bruins dont have a problem with Tim Thomas goaltendingstyle. They made that clear on Sunday at the TD Garden, after returning toBoston.

Thomas overtime blunder that caught him out of position forAlex Burrows' wrap-around game-winner 11 seconds into overtime on Saturdaynight was the hot topic of conversation one day later. But the Bruins wantedno part of it.

I have a pretty good idea of how to play goalie, saidThomas when asked if he felt he needed to make adjustments to his goaltendingstyle. Im not going to be taking suggestions or advice at this time. So Imjust going to keep playing the way I have.

His way isnt alwayspretty. But its worked most of the time, as Thomas is one of the major reasonsthe Bruins are four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.

Problem is, the Vancouver Canucks are now only two wins awayfrom the capturing the same prize, after Thomas mostly reliable, sometimesoutrageous style led to Burrows Game 2 overtime winner, which gave the Canucksa 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

Burrows came in hard down the left wing with Zdeno Chararight on him and Thomas decided to not only come out of the net to cut offthe angle, but he also chose to lunge at Burrows as he took the puck behind thenet.

The result was a wide open net, a Burrows wrap-around, and a2-0 series lead for Vancouver.

A day later, the Bruins are defending their goaltender, andthey dont believe he needs to change anything.

All year long weve played in front of Timmy Thomas, and tome, hes a Vezina Trophy winner, said coach Claude Julien. We are hereright now because his contribution has been really good. For us to be sittinghere, having to answer those kind of questions, is ridiculous to me.

Hes won a Vezina Trophy already, as I mentioned. Hesprobably going to win one this year, in my mind anyway, for what hes done. Soto question his way of playing is really looking for something to talk about.

Yesterday, he made some unbelievable saves to keep us inthe game, added Julien. So if we want to focus on that last goal -- which Ithink theres a lot of other players who could have done a better job -- isfocusing on the wrong thing.

Once Thomas came out of the net, there was still anopportunity to stop Burrows from wrapping the puck around the far post and intothe net. Chara was right on him, but couldnt find a way to slow him down.

Still, the sentiment in the Bruins room at the TD Garden onSunday was, win as a team, lose as a team.

And that comes with Thomas playing the way he always has.

We play the same way in front of Timmy, at leastpersonally, for as long as Ive been here, said Chara. And hes got his ownstyle, and I dont think anything is wrong with it. Its been really successfulfor him. Hes really, as we all know, hes probably one of the best, if not thebest goaltender in the league. So I dont see why we should change the way weplay or the way should he change the way he plays.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis


Bruins' Backes returns to ice after surgery for diverticulitis

BRIGHTON -- In a development that was certainly much sooner than originally anticipated, David Backes has returned to the ice just a matter of weeks after having 10 inches of colon removed during surgery for diverticulitis. It remains to be seen how gradual a process it will be for the 33-year-old to actually return to game action given his original timetable for recovery was eight weeks following the early November procedure, but it seems like it might end up being ahead of the two months Backes was initially expected to be sidelined. 

For his part, Backes was happy to be back skating with his teammates and pushing his recovering body after feeling pretty sluggish for the first few days following surgery. He confirmed he’d been skating for a couple of days while the team was on the West Coast, but Monday was his first team doing anything post-surgery with the rest of the team. 

“It’s good to be back with the guys and to be around the room, and to have seen the kind of resiliency that these guys showed on the road trip. The back half of the road trip was impressive,” said Backes, who has an assist in five games with the Bruins before succumbing to the surgery. “To be on the ice and moving around after sitting around doing nothing for too long where you don’t think you’re going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it feels good. 

“The doc’s advice is that if it doesn’t hurt then I can keep moving forward and add more of a workload on, so that’s the update for today. It’s still non-contact, but we’ll keep moving along and hopefully I’ll be back doing what I love to do on a regular basis. I haven’t been notified that the timeline has changed at all, so I’m just going to keep putting in the work. The more I seem to do the work the better it is, and I seem to be able to do a little more each day. So those are all positive signs.”

For the Bruins it’s clearly a morale booster to see the big power forward back doing regular hockey activities, and serving notice that he’ll be bringing his size, strength, leadership and physicality back to a B’s team that definitely needs him. Clearly the return of another high-end forward would also immensely help a Bruins team that’s still very undermanned up front, but it would appear there will be some other B’s forwards getting back prior to Backes. 

Brad Marchand and Ryan Spooner appear poised to return to full practice on Tuesday with a possible return to the lineup not too far beyond that after all three injured forwards took part in Monday’s optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena. 


Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton


Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after a rough weekend for the Justice League movie. 


*Radko Gudas was suspended for 10 games after slashing at the head of Mathieu Perreault, and it’s an appropriate sentence for a play that has no place in the NHL, and from a player that really deserves to get slapped around by the Department of Player Safety. Some like the Hockey News here believe it should have been a more severe suspension, but this is the right move with a player that’s headed toward a Raffi Torres sentence the next time he crosses over the line. Let’s hope the message finally gets through to a dirty player, but I’m not holding my breath given his past history.  


*Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is beginning to take some heat in Edmonton with a hockey team that’s performing way under expectations to this point. 


*All Alexander Radulov wanted was to feel like he was wanted, you guys. The Dallas Stars just so happened to say that to him in the form of money and contract years. 


* does a Calder Trophy voting poll with their own staff and it looks like Clayton Keller is strongly in the lead, and that Charlie McAvoy isn’t getting nearly the mount of consideration that he should be getting right now. This is the only rookie averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, people…c’mon now. 


*It’s officially over for the Montreal Canadiens just a couple of months into the season, and it may be for GM Marc Bergevin as well. I’m not sure the Habs are dead and buried quite yet, but Carey Price as a question mark certainly doesn’t help matters. 


*Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were both honored in Anaheim this weekend after their Hockey Hall of Fame honors last weekend. 


*For something completely different: Here’s a petition for fans to get a home release of the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. These people thirsting for ponderous, bombastic drudgery in their comic book movies amazes me. While I feel for Snyder and his family given their tragedy over the last year, I think his movies are god-awful and can’t fathom why anybody would be pounding the table demanding to see a cut that left the DC and Warner Brothers execs running and screaming for Joss Whedon.