Bruins

Haggerty: Everybody waking up to the real Tim Thomas

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Haggerty: Everybody waking up to the real Tim Thomas

In another example of his inability to leave well enough alone, former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has alienated more of his fan base with another infamous Facebook post.

With four simple words Thomas aligned himself with an embattled Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy after the fast food executive came out with some strong statements against the legality of same-sex marriages.

Everybody thats ever enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A sandwich knows about the companys strong beliefs in religion over commerce. They are the only major fast food chain thats 100-percent closed on Sundays despite prominent placements in mall food courts all across the country.

Thomas Facebook post simply said I stand with Chick-Fil-A.

Of course, it would have been much less controversial if Thomas had posted I stand with Chick-Fil-As waffle fries and then called it a day in the Colorado bunker with a can of Spaghettios.

Never mind the rhetoric-laden argument whether supporting the sanctity of traditional marriage is the same as spouting hate about homosexual couples seeking to enter into same-sex unions. Thats a different argument for a different day, and a much longer column.

But Cathy actually called those that go against the traditional idea of heterosexual marriage as prideful and arrogant to think that we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.

Those are strong words and highly critical of those that believe any able-bodied, in-love adults should have the right to a legal marriage.

In the world of Cathy and Thomas and those of the same mindset a gay or lesbian couple shouldnt have the right to enter into a marriage recognized by the government, the church or their friends and families. Thomas remarks, of course, sparked plenty of discussion, rancor and even pushed some Bruins fans off the fence from supporting the Conn Smythe-winning goaltender.

Its taken some time, but as the weeks go by realization seems to be setting in for many things around Thomas.

The 38-year-old made the choice of personal politics over his teammates in the middle of last year during the teams White House visit, he whisked his family out of the Boston right around the same time and then deserted the Bruins at the end of the season to refocus on friends, family and faith.

Part of the reason the Bruins arent able to do anything this summer is because they cant move the 5 million rock that is Tim Thomas cap space.

But through all of these things most still supported Thomas after he was the main driving force that brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston for the first time in 39 years. Some even held to the amazingly misguided belief the Bs goalie would one day return to the team when he was done with his journey of self-discovery in Colorado.

But it appears that the truth is finally sinking in as Thomas continues an unflattering self-illustration on his Facebook account. Some finally dont like what theyre seeing as the goalie pulls back the curtain behind the Wizard of Oz.

We already knew that Thomas is a Tea Party supporter, somebody that thinks the Greenhouse Effect is a conspiracy for companies to make money through the green movement. Now were acutely aware that he doesnt believe in same-sex marriages. Some will say hes merely supporting traditional marriage and upholding the good word of the Bible, but then again some people still dont want to connect all the dots.

Perhaps the best take was that of Patrick Burke from the You Can Play project, who has argued vehemently, passionately and eloquently for the rights of LBGT athletes in sports over the last year. Burke met with Cam Janssen after his controversial, insensitive comments toward the gay community on the radio several weeks ago, and both athlete and activist came to a greater understanding on the issue.

Tolerance, love and understanding won out over hatred and ignorance. Thats the way it should always be in an ideal world where two adults should be allowed to pronounce their love for each other to the world.

Burke wouldnt comment on the Thomas post, but instead pushed media, fans and members of the hockey community to focus on Bruins players Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton. Chara took part in the You Can Play project supporting gay athletes when it first was born during last years All-Star weekend in Ottawa, and Thornton has been outspoken in his theoretical acceptance of any future gay teammates.

What isnt acceptable?

Its hard to understand people that continue to blindly support Thomas because he was a great hockey player or because he brought a Stanley Cup to Boston. Nobody is saying Thomas is an evil person because of his political beliefs, or that he shouldnt have the platform to spout his beliefs-based agenda.

But hes also far from heroic or great.

The once-unanimous support for Thomas is eroding in the Boston area as he alienates one group of people after another, and people are starting to get tired of his act. Just a year ago Thomas was a folk hero that could do nothing wrong in the eyes of just about everyone living in Boston.

But his rigid belief system combined with his unwillingness to ever play for the Bruins again are finally waking people up from their unwavering allegiance to the United States of Tim Thomas.

Better late than never as people continue to understand what he is all about when he starts speaking about the real world rather than stopping pucks.

Julien thankful for B's video tribute, "happy he can move on"

Julien thankful for B's video tribute, "happy he can move on"

BOSTON – It was the final piece of closure for former Bruins coach Claude Julien when he made his return to TD Garden for the first time as the bench boss for the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Julien stood on the visiting bench, watched a first period video tribute of appreciation for his 10-years guiding the Bruins and then received the warm, thankful ovation from the B’s fans that still very much appreciate his efforts that resulted in a 2011 Stanley Cup title. 

Unfortunately for him and the Canadiens he also presided over a lifeless, limp effort from his Montreal club in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins where his team simply couldn’t derive any emotion or juice from his return to Boston. Julien said in both French and English that that his Habs simply “laid an egg” on the road, and that was disappointing for him given that Montreal already has their backs against the wall for a possible playoff spot. 

Instead Julien’s biggest bright spot in the game turned out to be the video tribute from the Bruins midway through the first period, for which he was greatly appreciative. 

“It’s always something that you kind of dread a little bit because it’s a little emotional, and at the same time [you’re] trying to keep your emotions intact there so you can coach a game and stuff like that. But, you know, I appreciate what they did for me,” said Julien following his second loss to the Bruins in five days. “As I said, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about this organization that gave me the opportunity to spend 10 years here. At the same time I’m kind of happy it’s over so we can move on now, but that doesn’t mean you forget what’s happened here. It’s always going to be with you. But now I’m in another chapter of my coaching career, and I’ve got to think about that.”

Julien’s counterpart, Bruce Cassidy, called the video tribute a “classy move” by the Bruins organization after the game had been settled, and there’s no doubting it was the right move for a coach that won over 400 games during his 10 years leading the Bruins. It was also the final chapter in his Bruins book as Julien now has completely moved on to his new gig guiding the Canadiens where it seems like his work is most definitely cut out for him. 

Spooner's strong play continues as B's dominate Habs

Spooner's strong play continues as B's dominate Habs

GOLD STAR: It had to feel good for Ryan Spooner. The speedy forward played a great game, finished with the game-winning goal in Claude Julien’s return to Boston and had both four shots on net and four registered hits in 16:07 of ice time. His goal was a level of grit and buy-in that he didn’t always have when Julien was the coach, but it’s one that he’s found more and more since Bruce Cassidy took over behind the B’s bench. Spooner drove the puck straight toward the net, and attempted to throw a pass backdoor to Matt Grzelcyk. But instead the puck bounced off Jonathan Drouin’s skate and ended up in the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game in the second period. For a player that long struggled under the watchful eye of Julien, Spooner’s night continued a stretch of very strong play since coming back from injury. 

BLACK EYE: Jonathan Drouin was supposed to be a game-changing center for the Canadiens after being moved from Tampa Bay, but he hasn’t even been close to that, or actually being a center, for the Habs this year. Drouin really didn’t bring much of anything on Wednesday night with a couple of shots on net, a giveaway and a 1-for-9 on the draw in his 17:04 of ice time. He was like so many of the other players on the Montreal roster that didn’t show up with their best in a rivalry game between the Bruins and the Habs. Even worse than that they didn’t show up in a game they desperately needed to win if they wanted to stay relevant in the playoff race. With the minus game again on Wednesday, Drouin is also now a minus-20 on the season in what’s been a truly disappointing year. 

TURNING POINT: The Bruins bounced back strongly after giving up a goal on the first shift of the game, and really took things over after the fortunate bounce for Jakub Jerabek got the Habs on the board early. The Bruins outshot the Canadiens by a 25-13 margin in the first two periods, dominated play and posted a goal in each of the first two periods to get the B’s on the board. From that point on it was smooth sailing and Boston only needed to collect a couple of insurance goals in the third period to truly seal Montreal’s fate. What was surprising was that the Habs showed little fight or pride while slowly sinking into the mud during the game, and never ever provided any real challenge to the Bruins in a game that was still separated by just a single goal until later in the third period. 

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci had one of his better games for the Bruins with a goal, two points and a plus-2 rating in 15:58 of ice time. It was an empty net goal that rounded out the scoring in the third period, and he finished with four shot attempts, a takeaway and 16-of-20 face-off wins in 15:58 of ice time. In general the Bruins frontline centers absolutely and thoroughly dominated Montreal’s poor excuse for players down the middle of their lineup, and Krejci was a big part of that in helping set up Spooner’s game-winner as well. Krejci was also a player that had his differences of opinion with Julien when he was coaching the Bruins, so the big game for him on Wednesday night also must have felt pretty cathartic when it was all said and done.   

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 – the number of games for Tuukka Rask’s current point streak where he’s put together a 13-0-2 record that dates back to his four game benching in the middle of November. He finished with a solid night’s work of 21 saves in the win over the Habs.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We laid an egg.” –Claude Julien said that phrase in both French and English to discuss a truly pathetic performance for his Canadiens team in what should have been an intense Bruins/Habs rivalry game on national television. 

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