The ultimate deficit hawk, Thomas failed in his bid to help the Bruins amass a 2-0 surplus in their first-round series against the representatives from our Nation's Capital. Now we've got real gridlock, 1-1, with Game 3 in Washington Monday night. Want some good news? Both the 3-5 Red Sox and Bruins are ahead of last year's pace as of Patriots' Day.
Thomas has reverted to his 2011 playoff form in this series, giving up two goals in 144 minutes and 14 seconds of hockey. He's played a mile outside the crease at times and was pushing and shoving all game Saturday. The problem - Capitals' first-termer Braden Holtby was even better in Washington's 2-1 2OT victory. Holtby, just 22, stopped 43 shots for Washington in his second career postseason game.
Thomas made 37 saves for Boston but simply stood frozen as Nicklaus Backstrom's game-winner sailed past his right shoulder 2:56 into the fifth period. He had delivered a nice smack to Backstrom earlier in the game, but Backstrom "got the last laugh." As @MikeGiardi tweeted: "Tim Thomas said he never saw the game-winner until it was too late. Yelled "screen" and then it was light's out, party over."
And I lost my shirt when I bet "Milan Lucic scores playoff goal" before "Kelly Shoppach steals a base" and "The Red Sox score 25 runs during back-to-back victories" in my "What will happen first?" fantasy league.
"Two goals in two games is not good enough," added David Krejci , who like so many of his teammates, is pointless in the postseason.
Gaylord Focker had the "circle of trust:"
The Bruins have "The Chain." Unfortunately, its weakest links have been Krecji, Lucic and Tyler Seguin.
We are all watching you.
Remember all hell broke loose as Thomas decided not to join the Bruins at the White House (Jan. 23). At that time the president's approval rating was at 44 percent, according to Gallup. Since then, Obama's approval has enjoyed a bump up four points in the same poll. Thomas' approval rating among many fans and nearly every single member of the Boston media was in the tank in the days after he skipped out on meeting the Commander in Chief. It, we were told up and down the dial and across the internets, would lead to the end of the Bruins as we know them and cause inevitable and irrevocable damage to "team chemistry."
Thomas' approval rating spiked in the past month and is holding steady with his performance against the Capitals thus far. Thomas has prevented Bruins from being down 0-2 against the worst-possible seventh-seed draw Boston could have imagined. More importantly, his teammates and coach publicly backed him after Saturday's loss. So much for the "chemistry" problem.
Won't even try to get into why Obama's approval rating has improved. One thing is for sure - it had nothing to do anything Thomas did. We avoid political commentary here - except for cynical remarks about politicians who try to look cool by talking sports and inevitably screwing up - see Mayor Menino, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Warren and friends, John Kerry, Joe Biden, etc. And snarky comments about how either Romney or Thomas will have to make Michigan his home state in order for Timmy to get a spot on the GOP ticket.
Once again enjoy "Varitek splitting the uprights":
Holtby is from Marshall, Saskatchewan, and he wasn't talking politics, either. Saskatchewan does not keep a permanent "List of Electors," so there's no way to determine if Holtby supports the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, is a card-carrying member of the Communist Party of Canada, a backer of the Western Block Party, or riding high in Le Parti RhinocĂ©ros.
Thomas' decision not to go to the White House continues to have zero effect on this team, even though the goalie had the incredible nerve to halt a Q & A session the other day when asked about his White House snub. To his critics, that is the "team chemistry" equivalent of Thomas burning his Bruins' jersey while singing "Oh, Canada" in French at center ice in Montreal while hugging Ken Dryden. The world of professional athletes does not revolve around press availability. The media's presence is a minor but necessary nuisance and/or mundane part of the job, much like time in the whirlpool or studying film. Some enjoy the cameras and chatting it up (see Rob Gronkowski circa 2012 - "Yo Soy Fiesta" is at the 1:37 mark) much more than others (see Jim Rice circa 1988).
Thomasâ€™ postseason shutout streak, which ran all the way back to Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, died after 161 minutes, 41 seconds. Clearly, he was distracted by Rick Santorum dropping out of the presidential race.
But next time you see Thomas take a pass on that question about his assessment of the Supreme Court's Obamacare case, don't for a second think that it will affect whether or not Seguin can score on the power play against Washington.
It's apples and oranges - or White House snubs and Stanley Cup runs.
Speaking of sports and politics. Ray Allen, D-Wade and some of the other members on Team USA want to be paid for representing their country in the Olympics. I don't have a problem with that. How much to pay them is the question. Well, there are no better representatives of our nation overseas than the members of our military (or at least 99.99 percent of them). The basic pay for an active duty Army Staff Sergeant with six-years service is $34,636 per year plus benefits. Figuring the U.S. Olympic team puts in about two months of work before the games, that would equal about $5,772.66 for the commitment asked of each Olympian. Works for me.
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