Tim Thomas won't start against the Bruins tonight at TD Garden, but that didn't mean that there wasn't talk about the former Boston goalie.
While Bruins coach Claude Julien at first dismissed talk about fans' reception to Thomas's return -- "I've got a lot more important things to think about right now," Julien said -- he went more in depth when asked about Thomas's contributions to the team during the 2011 Stanley Cup run.
"They're right," Julien said, about the team not winning without Thomas. "But Tim Thomas doesn't win the Stanley Cup if our team doesn't play as well as it did in front of him. This is an honest statement.
"Tim played well, but I think our team played just as well in front of him. You don't win the Stanley Cup just with a goaltender. He won the Conn Smythe because he was very good, but at the same time I would like to hope that the statistics of your goaltenders can also reflect the team in front of you. We did a pretty good job in front of him for years minimizing the goal scoring chances and the quality of it.
"So let's make sure we don't take away credit from the rest of the team too. He was a big part of it, and so was a lot of other guys. But at the same time we won the Stanley Cup because we were a good team. That's what I'd like to think anyway."
Thomas, who is still on IR with an injured groin, did not speak with the media after his team's morning skate, in which he did participate.
The goalie played against the Bruins on Oct. 17, in the first meeting between the two teams, allowing three goals in a 3-2, last-minute Bruins win.