As he grabbed the Stanley Cup from the hands of teammate Mark Recchi on Wednesday and raised it to the rafters in celebration at Rogers Arena, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made a statement.
The Conn Smythe winner, who almost single-handedly toppled the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks in seven games, sent a message that rang throughout the NHL.
That message was, “Yeah, you do need goaltending to win a Stanley Cup.”
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During a television timeout in the Boston Bruins’ 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers, Saturday, everyone’s favorite sideshow Sean Avery, made the boring, one-goal contest immediately entertaining. He skated behind Boston goalie Tim Thomas, tapping him in the back of the head with his stick. Thomas immediately went after Avery and a ruckus broke out.
Avery pretended the tap to be accidental, but watching the replay, it was clear he checked for the referee’s line of sight before love-tapping the newly signed backstop.
“It’s an unwritten rule that nothing happens during the TV timeout,” said Thomas in published reports. “I’m stretching there, Avery comes by, and I get hit in the head with a stick. The battling during the game? I have no problem with that. I actually like the way he plays around the net. He’s tenacious. He gets in right around the crease but he’s not doing anything illegal. I have no problem with that. But there are lines that you can’t cross. He seems to have a hard time figuring out where those lines are.”
What makes the irritating move by Avery even more special, is that if the Rangers can hold onto the final spot in the Eastern Conference (which they currently own), they would face the same Bruins in the opening round. If Avery is sending a message to the Bruins, which is very possible, that’s suddenly a series worth watching.