By Joe McDonald
BOSTON – When the Hurricanes’ Scott Walker chipped the puck past former ECHL and current Bruins goalie Tim Thomas at 18:46 of overtime, Boston’s exceptional season came to an end in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the Garden.
It was a tough play for Thomas, who finished the night with 34 saves. No one is to blame for this stunning loss, especially the goaltender.
“I saw the (Ray Whitney) coming down the wing winding up for the shot. He took the shot. I made the save and the rebound went up in the air and I couldn’t completely control it. Obviously, it was in a spot where I couldn’t suck it in. Before I knew it, (Walker) had already whacked at it. I didn’t see him coming to the net, I was too focused on just making the save on the shot.”
It was clear players on both teams were running on fumes and in the Bruins locker room afterward, no one was about to point the finger at Thomas. After all, he’s the favorite for the Vezina Trophy, which is given to the league’s outstanding goaltender.
“Timmy has been great all year for us,” said Bergeron. “He always gave us a chance to win and he did the same in the playoffs. We all hope he gets that trophy because he deserves it.”
Thomas was clearly exhausted. He was drained. It was obvious he was running the final goal through his mind at an uncontrollable speed when asked to describe what happened.
“Obviously I’m disappointed. I’m pretty tired. That’s about it,” he said.