Bruins

Thomas on track for a repeat performance

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Thomas on track for a repeat performance

Tim Thomas didnt have the show-stopping roll to start this season that he did last year, but then again, he didnt really need to. Thomas had to win back his starting gig with the Bruins heading into last season, but this year there was little to prove after becoming only the second goalie in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy all in the same season.

Despite not being pushed to win his job back, Thomas is still riding an eight-game winning streak, and coming off a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets that featured a 16-save third period.

He did a very good job in the end and helped his team to get the win, said Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. We have to be better in front of the net, a lot of loose pucks there and we have to work on that. When the team needed a save Thomas made it. That's why he's the best.

Thomas had 40 saves in all, spearheading the Bruins to a win. And he had help from his teammates. Adam McQuaid made a leaping effort to bat away a floating puck that seemed destined to land in the net beyond a prone Thomas, and Johnny Boychuk blocked three shots to a protect the 4-2 lead Saturday night.

"Winnipeg was our third game in four nights. We have had a good clip of games, said Thomas. I was tired and I think we showed it at times at the beginning. But we battled through it and got stronger and stronger. That was a big win. I was just trying to battle through it. I have been in those situations before.

The solid net performance leaves Thomas with an 11-4 record as the end of November approaches along with a 1.86 goals against average and a .937 save percentage. He also has three shutouts. The 37-year-old Bs goalie has appeared in 16 games thus far for the Bruins with 15 starts.

The amazing part for Thomas and the Bruins?

Bs coach Claude Julien has spoken about getting Thomas a bit more rest this season after the Bruins puck-stopper played an amazing 82 games last year between the regular season and playoffs. But Thomas has played in 15 games through the first two months of last season, so the Bs goaltender has actually played more this year in his season of "rest."

The Bruins are expected to play Tuukka Rask much more as the schedule really bogs down with three or four games each week, which should allow Thomas to rest before the playoffs.

Thomas held a crazy .951 save percentage last season through the first two months, but his record was a nearly identical 11-3-1 through October and November last season after ripping off seven straight wins to start the season. So perhaps Thomas was a little better last year, but the Bs goalie is once again off to a campaign that appears to be special.

Itll likely take a little more rest and relaxation down the stretch this season than it did last year for the aging Bs goalie, but Thomas hasnt seemed to miss a beat from last season after such a short layoff.

Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

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Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.

 

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.

MORE BRUINS:

Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork

DeBrusk-White-Pastrnak

Agostino-Nash-Backes

Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McAvoy

Postma

 
Khudobin

McIntyre