The Pittsburgh Penguins have their shovel. The Washington Capitals have their hard hat. Each a symbolic trophy given out between team members after a win.
The Bruins? They have the jacket.
Rumor is these days is that there exists a circa 1980′s Boston Bruins Starter jacket that Andrew Ference purchased via Ebay, and is being awarded to the player of the game in the Bruins eyes after every win. Not exactly the tough and gritty symbol that other teams have adopted to bestow recognition, but it works for them. In the past few games, almost everything seems to be working well for the Bruins actually.
Mark Recchi wore the jacket in the locker room last night after a the Bruins’ decisive 3-0 over the Chicago Blackhawks. Not only did Recchi tally an assist, but he also surpassed Paul Coffey for 12th on the all-time scoring list.
However, it would also be fair to say that Tim Thomas would have been a pretty good candidate as well.
“It looks like one of those things you’d wear around Flint, Michigan in the ’80s,” Thomas said about the jacket.
Not that there has ever been much doubt, but if there were still any naysayers of Thomas’s nod for the Vezina, he surely put those doubts to rest last night, notching his ninth shutout of the season against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
“Shutouts are honestly, really overrated,” Thomas mused. “It’s not that big of a deal.”
Someone should probably tell the swarm of media members around Thomas’s locker that its not such a big deal.
“Having said that, shutouts are nice, I’m obviously pulling for them towards the end of the game if I can,” he said. “But I mean, I think guys should be focused on winning, making sure that we win rather than the shutout.”
Thomas, the type of goaltender to quickly praise his defense when applicable and downplay his own achievements, is seeing a career year, in which he could possibly have the best save percentage in the modern NHL when all is said and done.
Though his team had a fair amount of control in the game, Thomas had to be more than ready while some rather elite players tested him constantly.
“I played with Patrick Kane in the Olympics and against him before,” explained Thomas “He has got a really good shot, but he only takes it when he knows he can score, and we limited how much he could actually do that tonight.”
He did it all, snatching pucks out of the air, moving laterally across the mouth of the goal, and of course it wouldn’t be a night with Thomas in net without a few sequences where he somehow made a save with his head in the back of the goal facing the in net camera.
Tim Thomas is feeling good.
This past stretch of five games Thomas has been particularly happy with. After the Bruins struggled through a long stretch he explained the fine line for him as a goaltender feeling confident.
“At the beginning of the year I was feeling great lets be honest,” Thomas said with a Cheshire cat smile. “I didn’t feel that bad during that stretch. 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 just a few weeks left in the regular season, it would surely be easy for Thomas to look at the big picture, the playoffs, and beyond. But right now he is concerned with doing his job well which is stopping the puck, and he seems to understand that job better than any goaltender playing the game right now.
“I’m just focusing on each game-to- game, and even during the game just trying to play the same way for the whole 60 minutes no matter what the situation,” Thomas said. “We’re pretty good about not thinking about that kind of stuff lately, so I’d prefer not to start now if you don’t mind.”
Tim, I don’t think Bruins fans would mind that at all.