Boston Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas has been no stranger to controversy this season off the ice, but after surrendering four goals in yesterday’s 4-3 Rangers win over Boston at Madison Square Garden, Thomas decided to comment on something happening on the ice.
Or above the ice, specifically.
After surrendering four goals on 17 shots yesterday, Thomas was asked by the Boston media if he was ready to handle the full-time goaltending duties in the event that Bruins’ backup netminder Tuukka Rask is out for an extended period of time.
“Yeah, especially if I go to an arena with lights.” Thomas told the Boston Herald.
When asked to expand on that, Thomas told the Herald, according to WBZ in Boston that “Every [goal] was a screen or a weird, goofy bounce.” And that “It wasn’t a normal game for a goaltender. Let’s put it that way.”
While Thomas didn’t specifically slam the arena in the same way Bruce Boudreau did during last spring’s Playoffs, his comments immediately garnered a reaction from Rangers fans, much in the way Boudreau’s words led to the “Can You Hear Us?” chant during Game 3 of last year’s Rangers/Capitals series.
The Boston Herald link does also mention that Henrik Lundqvist had commented after his first practice at Madison Square Garden in October that the background of the remodeled arena had changed, potentially resulting in a change of the lighting patterns.
But can the lighting be blamed for Thomas’ poor outing? After all, he gave up two goals against the Islanders in a relief appearance in his own building just 24 hours earlier, and his goals-against average so far this season is 28 points higher than it was during his Vezina-winning campaign last year.
One thing’s for sure, you can expect Rangers fans to fully pounce on Thomas’ words if he’s in goal when the Bruins visit Madison Square Garden next on April Fool’s Day.