Posted on: August 25, 2011 12:00 pm
By Brian Stubits
I recently took part in a battle to the death -- or just a cyberspace spat -- with some of my fellow Eye On bloggers about the most important position in sports. I can't understand why a goaltender in hockey doesn't get more love in this argument.
I mean, didn't any of them watch the Stanley Cup Final and see Tim Thomas at work? Oh ...
You can take a look at the debate here and see for yourself.
Posted on: August 24, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 12:08 am
By: Adam Gretz
Oh yes, it's been an awesome couple of months for Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. Stanley Cup? Check. Vezina Trophy? All his. Sandwich named after him (and this is clearly the important one)? Winner.
The folks at Days of Y'orr, a blog dedicated to the Stanley Cup champions, recently stumbled upon The Tim Thomas, a sandwich at the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The description on the menu: A grilled chicken breast coated in cajun spices, topped with grilled pineapple slices and melted pepper jack cheese. It'll run you $12.99.
Days of Y'orr not only came away unimpressed with the quality of the food at the restaurant, but also the fact that the Tim Thomas sandwich wasn't a cheeseburger. Having never had the luxury of dining at the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse I can't -- and won't -- speak for the quality of the ingredients or the food itself, so I'll leave that for the people that have actually frequented that particular establishment.
But what about the actual concept of the sandwich? The chicken and the pineapple. That it doesn't contain bloody red meat. Assuming it's made with fresh ingredients and prepared well, is this a sandwich you would enjoy? Is it worthy of being named a Stanley Cup Champion?
I'm not afraid to say yes, mainly because I'm a sucker for pineapple.
A quick glance at the menu on the the Corner Clubhouse's website reveals at least two other Bruins related sandwiches: the Milan Lucic, a roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce, cheddar, lettuce and tomato on a bulkie roll, and the Ray Bourque, a North Carolina style pulled pork served on a bulkie roll with sliced Bermuda onion and a side of coleslaw.
(H/T Houses Of The Hockey)
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:25 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 7:24 pm
Roberto Luongo would like a mulligan.
He'd probably take one for the entire postseason (specifically the Chicago series after which he had a hard time recuperating his image), but his remarks this week were regarding his comment about Tim Thomas during the middle of the Stanley Cup Final.
"If I could do it again, I wouldn't say it," Luongo said in an interview with Radio-Canada.ca. "I didn't want to create the buzz that it did. After the fifth game, I had never been so emotional and I got carried away."
You remember it, when Luongo was pumping Timmy's tires?
After Thomas was caught too high in the crease, leaving the net open for Maxim Lapierre on a rebound off the back board to score the game-winning goal, Luongo was asked his thoughts on the Thomas' style.
"It's not hard [to stop] if you're playing in the paint," he said in his postgame conference. "It's an easy save for me, but if you're wandering out, that's going to happen."
He followed it up to admitting that Thomas makes saves that Luongo won't, too. It was a sound bite that drew an incredible amount of attention, but I was never exactly sure why. It was rather harmless, especially considering Luongo was asked to comment on it, he didn't just offer it at his own volition. Nonetheless, it hung over the Finals for Games 6 and 7, both Boston wins.
If you want to hear the whole interview, you better understand French. If so, here's where you can listen.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: August 10, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 6:08 pm
By: Adam Gretz
I enjoy a good goalie fight as much as anybody, but what Evgeny Tsaregorodtsev, a goaltender for Donbass Donestsk, a team from the Ukraine, did in an exhibition game on Tuesday night against Slovakia's HK Nitra, doesn't really fit in the "fight" category. After using his stick to crack an opponent over the head during a scramble in front of the crease, helping to spark a line brawl, Tsaregorodtsev completely lost his mind for a couple of minutes as seen in the video below.
He managed to take out his frustrations on the net, the fans, the glass and, well, pretty much anybody or anything that happened to get in his way between the ice and the locker room.
The important news? Donestsk went on to win the game 3-1. Exciting.
Even though this doesn't really count as a "goalie fight," seeing as how the other netminder didn't seem to get involved (whether that was due to his own common sense, or simply out of fear), it's worth pointing out that we did see a stretch of goalie fights in the NHL last season, including two involving Pittsburgh's Brent Johnson, as well as a playful bout between Boston's Tim Thomas and Montreal's Carey Price, neither of whom seemed all that interested in doing any damage to the other.
None of them featured the Wild and zany antics of this goalie from the Ukraiine.
H/T Eastern Conferences, via Puck Daddy
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 11:20 am
PUT ON YOUR JACKET:: Since Columbus went out and landed Jeff Carter from Philadelphia to finally get itself a top-line center, the All-Star has been quiet and seemingly avoiding his new home. At this point, he is yet to speak to GM Scott Howson, team officials or the media. Because of all that, fans are starting to worry that it could be another situation of a prized player coming to town and wanting out before he ever gets in. Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch stresses the importance for the franchise and its fans that Carter get on board the C-bus.
Penguins POWER: One of the factors that brought down the Pittsburgh Penguins last season -- besides the injuries to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin -- was an abysmal power play. In the first-round playoff exit to Tampa Bay, for example, the Pens were just 1 of 35 with the man advantage. You don't need me to tell you that's beyond dreadful. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Dejan Kovacevic says Dan Bylsma knows as much, too, and he is already planning on multiple looks to find success. Kovacevic offers some of his own ideas, including a four-forward umbrella look.
WHO WANTS THE Coyotes?: The Coyotes, the city of Glendale, Ariz., and the NHL are still looking for a buyer to keep the team in the desert, but they have had more problems selling than Wile E. had chasing the Roadrunner. Matthew Hulsizer was close to acquiring the team in the past, and he's still in the mix. And, according to the Phoenix Business Journal so are Jerry Reinsdorf (who had seemingly withdrawn from the process) and an unknown third party. The two-year sales saga is far from over.
TWO FOR ONE: Hot on the heels of the NHL returning to Winnipeg, there is already talk of another team coming to town. The Calgary Sun suggests the idea of adding a Western Hockey League team to Winnipeg makes a lot of sense, noting that the WHL has long wanted to get back into the 'Peg and the two-team look has worked very well in Calgary and Edmonton.
WELCOME BACK: Ryan Smyth is now officially back with the Oilers and while he doesn't have his position on the team defined yet -- second or third line? right wing or left? -- GM Steve Tambellini knows what role Smyth will fill. Edmonton is expecting Smyth to come in and play the mentor role, teaching and leading by example, something Tambellini wanted to find for his young team. "I can't see any reason why Ryan won’t be a huge part of that. He's experienced. He understands this community. He understands where we are as an organization right now," Tambellini said.
SAND STAR: Tim Thomas has reached icon status in New England to the point people are making sculptures out of the guy ... in sand, that is. Check out this photo from the Master Sand Sculpting Competition of Thomas protecting the cage. It's no wonder he was almost unbeatable all year, look how big he is in the net.
-- Brian Stubits
Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 5:43 pm
So who's the bigger star: Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin? It's an ongoing debate, but you can notch one in The Kid's department. Again.
For the sixth consecutive season, Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins jersey was the highest-selling jersey in the NHL, edging out Ovechkin at No. 2. They were followed up by Blackhawks teammates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, then Crosby's teammate Evgeni Malkin rounded out the top five.
Both the Blackhawks and Penguins led the way in the top 20 with four players apiece. Joining Crosby and Malkin for Pittsburgh were Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang. Chicago's dynamic duo was joined by Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.
Somewhat surprising considering the tremendous amount of interest Boston just got done showing in its hockey team, there is only one Bruin on the list -- and it's not Zdeno Chara or Tim Thomas. Nope, checking in at No. 16 is Milan Lucic.
This goes a long way in showing Crosby's star power, if there were any questions left. Despite missing half the season, he was still No. 1 in the merchandise business.
Your move, Ovie.
-- Brian Stubits
For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter
Posted on: June 11, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 4:49 pm
It's not quite the NBA's cough controversy, but it doesn't mean it's not as overblown.
Luongo was asked how difficult it is to play a shot off the endboard, the way Thomas surrendered the only goal of the game. Here's his response that is drawing a stink.
The comment drew a somewhat strong reaction from the Bruins on Saturday.
Much has been made in these Finals about Thomas' aggressive approach to the game, especially after he was caught being too aggressive on Alex Burrows' game-winning goal in Game 2. We all know the guy is unconventional, but it's worked out pretty well for him.
Not much to see here.
-- Brian Stubits
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: May 22, 2011 10:43 pm
Tim Thomas only spent a few days in Tampa for Games 3 and 4, but he did enough things to make it seem like the work of weeks on site.
Short, sweet and to the point, but Joe Namath it isn't. Nobody would expect for Thomas to say anything different. If you're a Bruins fan, you better hope your goaltender is thinking that way. Honestly, it's hardly worth batting an eye over.
Mark Recchi agrees.
"That's great he believes in it," Recchi said. "You've got to believe in the dressing room, and you've got to believe you're going to win the series."
But everything that happened while in Tampa isn't staying in Tampa, instead adding up to an eventful few days.
First there was the second career shutout in Game 3's 2-0 win, stopping all 31 shots the Lightning threw against him. It was sort of all down hill from there.
After that shutout, Thomas got himself into a little hot water. Well, we should say others got Thomas into a little trouble and nobody ever really came out to simmer the situation.
Thomas said following Game 3 that "I was able to play more under control tonight, but a lot of that had to do with ... we played the way that I'm used to. I felt comfortable in a game like that."
That last line, the one about feeling comfortable, is the culprit here. It was twisted into Thomas saying the Lightning are easy to play against. At least, that's how Lightning players and coach Guy Boucher took it.
"Well, some of the players talked a lot about it," Boucher said after Game 4. "He did say that it was an easy game to play against us last game. And obviously a lot of the guys were very fired up for this game. Certainly, I did hear it in the locker room, for sure."
Then there was Ryan Malone.
"We're expecting seven games, and last game when their goalie says he has an easy game, that's our job to make sure we get in there, take his eyes away, and make it hard on him."
So whether or not that was the intent of Thomas comment -- sounded more like praise of his defensemen than anything to me -- it was taken by the Lightning as bulletin-board material.
And now he's given them some more. After listening to Malone and Teddy Purcell after the game, seeing the wry smiles on their faces and the same on Boucher's when talking about Thomas' remark, you know Tampa Bay will use this latest as motivation. And they should. Whatever tools you can use in the playoffs to pull out every ounce of energy, you take it. Boucher is already working on it.
"We might as well stay home," Boucher quipped. "It's going to cost us a lot less money. And we can go home and get some sleep and watch some movies."
Adding to the weekend was Thomas showing clear signs of frustration in Game 4. And that was before the Lightning came back to win with five unanswered goals. On multiple occasions in the first period, Thomas seemed angry, at one point throwing a punch with his blocker right at Adam Hall.
You can see the punch more clearly here.
Either way, the Bruins have to do a better job on defense, and it starts with Thomas. A goalie is many times only as good as his defensemen, but Thomas didn't do much to help his cause in Game 4. His mishandling of the puck behind his own net led to the first Tampa Bay goal of the game and got the Lightning rolling. But overall, the B's were pretty sloppy, ultimately surrendering the puck at their own blue line to set up Simon Gagne's game-winner.
But the Lightning will be charged up for Game 5, especially now with some extra motivation, and they have plenty of electric talent to begin with. Ultimately it's up to Thomas to shut them down to move Boston within one win of the Stanley Cup Finals.
-- Brian Stubits