March 29, 2011

Thomas stays red-hot as B's blank Blackhawks

Gregory Campbell congratulates Tim Thomas after the Bruins 3-0 win over the Blackhawks. (Getty)

BOSTON-- Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, or any netminder for that matter, will likely never be able to match the otherworldly performance he put on to start the season.

With a 6-0-0 record and mesmerizing 0.50 GAA coming out of the gate, Thomas took his game to a level few have ever reached, even in such a short time span.

But, the 36-year-old veteran has come awfully close of late. Thomas kept the good times rolling on Tuesday night, stopping all 32 shots he faced in a convincing 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Well I mean they’re a good team that is battling for a playoff spot, so I don’t know if their game had energy as much as they tried to build it from within," Thomas said of the 'Hawks. "That’s what good teams do, and so they built energy towards us, but we were able to fend them off and keep our composure and get the job done."

Despite having played the night prior, winning 3-2 in overtime over the Red Wings, Chicago launched a full-fledged attack in the final frame, out-shooting Boston 15-4.

"Well, that’s the NHL," Thomas said of the Blackhawks being forced to travel for a second game in as many nights. "We played nights this year where it was our second night on the road against a team sitting at home. Having said that, I watched them last night, they used a lot of energy last night. They came at us fairly strong today, we just played well."

For Thomas, the shutout was his second in just three starts and his ninth overall this season.

"Shutouts are honestly, really overrated," he said. "It’s not that big of a deal. It’s more about the win. Having said that, shutouts are nice, I’m obviously pulling for them towards the end of the game if I can. But I mean, I think guys should be focused on winning, making sure that we win rather than the shutout."

Thomas is now up 26 shutouts in his career, tying him for fourth all-time among Bruins netminders with Gerry Cheevers.

"It took me forever to get to eight, which was my twenty-fifth, for a while," he said. "I never would have guessed that I would’ve gotten two in three games. It’s just the way it worked out."

After tailing off a bit in February, the veteran netminder has now won four-straight starts, during which he's allowed just two goals to pretty stiff competition.

"I didn’t feel that bad during that stretch," said Thomas. "I mean, there were shots that were hitting off of people that were going wide and going in. But having said that I do feel good right now, but I didn’t feel off that bad before. It’s a fine line for a goalie."

With the playoffs just around the corner, Thomas' hot streak couldn't have come at a better time.

"Oh yes, it’s scary sometimes," the red-hot netminder said of keeping his head clear and being in a groove. "I’m in one of those good places and now the challenge is to keep it."