Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sifting through the debris one day after the loss

Goalie Tim Thomas, NHL Hockey player for the B...
Goalie Tim Thomas, NHL Hockey player for the Boston Bruins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Boston Bruins roller coaster season has come to an uneventful and disappointing end.

Last night the Bruins were eliminated by the Washington Capitals in game seven in overtime by a score of 2-1. Before the T.D. North Bank Arena was empty, the hockey pundits were also discussing Tim Thomas’ future/fate.

With the Bruins loss, the NHL has only one high seed left in the East in the New York Rangers, whose season could come to an end at the hands of that Ottawa Senators.

I wonder if NBC execs love the prospects of a possible match-up between the Florida Panthers and the L.A. Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals as  all of their pretty match-ups have gone by the wayside. None the less, I will still be watching no matter who is playing.

Who would have thought that Detroit, Vancouver, Boston, Chicago Pittsburgh would all be out in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Most of those teams were built to go deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs and are now golfing. 

So after one round the in the Stanley Cup playoffs we have lost Gary Bettman’s team the Penguins, who bowed out gracefully in game six against the Philadelphia Flyers – the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Boston Bruins, who went down with a thud to the Washington Capitals. Finally the Presidents’ Trophy winner the top seeded Vancouver Canucks fell on their nose quicker than Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler in full dive mode, as they were eliminated last week by the eight seed the L.A. Kings in six games.

I can only imagine that the NHL front office is probably pulling For New Jersey and or the New York to win their game sevens tonight so the NHL doesn’t have to face the possibility of having the Panthers and the Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Elephant in the room

So the re-emerging theme that didn’t want to go away during the second half of the station was the Tim Thomas snub and him failing to go to the White House to see the President with the rest of the game back in January. One of the questions to immediately emerge in the locker room after the game was whether the Boston Bruins are behind their former Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas.
“I think he’s a great goalie,’’ Johnny Boychuk said. “He’s saved our butts a lot throughout the year. Throughout the series, he made plenty of saves and you know he’s going to be battling for you every night. And when you have a guy like that behind you, you don’t have any worries.’’

The issue now, though, is the long summer ahead. []
Some of the reports don’t sound so good coming out of the Boston Bruins Locker-room. There seems to be a bit of a of a disconnect between Thomas and his fellow teammates; or this story is being manufacturing in the media? It's hard to tell because a few of the Boston media guys have failed to let Thomas live down the "famous" White House snub last January.

While I admire Tim Thomas for making a stand personally and holding true to his core beliefs, I sometimes wonder if Thomas would have been better off just going to the White House with the rest of his teammates.

"Our best players, we probably needed more out of their game," said Boston coach Claude Julien, referring to a number of Bruins. "I didn't think our team was in tune as much as it was this time last year."

And with that, a year in which Boston's season was at least partly defined by Thomas' refusal to visit the President in the White House with his teammates in January ended with some degree of irony. Some Boston reporters said Thomas walked on the sacred Bruins logo after the game; there is speculation that the divisive former Vezina winner will be on the market this summer. And it was Ward and the Capitals who sent him there. [Montreal Gazette]
This little tidbit from the Obnoxious Boston Sports fan, apparently Tim Thomas referred to his fellow teammates as they. Boy what a difference a year makes and how soon they all forget, last year the fans and media in Boston were singing Tim Thomas’ praise as he was leading the Boston Bruins through the Stanley Cup playoffs. What have you done for me lately?

With the Bruins' exit, Thomas will be freed up to focus on Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate. Thomas, who played good but not great, will draw the ire of plenty of fans and others, who will continually make the mistake of linking his Facebook posts and political edicts to the fact that his GAA ballooned to 2.14 in the playoffs this season and his save percentage tumbled to .923. Tuukka time was likely going to arrive whether or not Thomas went to the White House and appears even more likely with Thomas' use of the dreaded "they" word while discussing his teammates last night. []
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