ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose talked to the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning and the first topic of conversation was the play of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who allowed just one goal on 34 shots in Boston's 3-1 win over Tampa Bay Monday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"Last night, he was the only guy to talk about. The Bruins basically took the first half of the game off and left Timmy Thomas out to fend for himself. The guy was great. He was fantastic. He made that game-saving save later in the game. But right off the start, he was very solid. You could tell he was on his game. He was very aggressive. He was outside the crease. And that's how you tell if Timmy's ready to play or not. If he's making saves inside the paint, it's going to be a long night. If he's out challenging and outside the paint and very aggressive, it's going to be a good night for Timmy Thomas. Last night, he was really on his game."
NBA legend Charles Barkley continues to hog the spotlight with his inflammatory words and actions. The TNT analyst gave taunting Miami fans a double-middle-finger salute Sunday, and then he offered this comeback: "They were telling me I suck. They were telling me I never won a championship. Like, 'Come on, give me something better than that, dude.' I always laugh at that statement, 'You didn't get a ring.' I'm like, 'Dude, you work at McDonald's. My life's a lot better than yours. You relax.' "
Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Tuesday's Morning Mashup.
The Bruins got a bit of a scare in the third period of their 3-1 vicctory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals when Lightning forward Steve Downie took a run at B's defenseman Johnny Boychuk and sent Boychuk down the tunnel and out of the game. Downie went off for boarding, and though Boychuk didn't take another shift, the encouraging news was that he made his way back to the bench for the end of the contest. Coach Claude Julien said he did not see the hit, but that the defenseman is OK.
"Johnny is fine," Julien said. "I haven’t had an opportunity to look at it. I haven’t watched the video yet. I know some people have, but from what I hear it’s not a great hit. I’ll maybe save my comments more for after I see it."
Boychuk logged 16:09 of ice time before leaving after the play, which occured at 10:54 of the third.
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It's not often that a coach admits his team was feeling playoff pressure but Claude Julien said the Bruins were feeling it in the first period Monday night and it showed in a 1-0 deficit after the opening 20 minutes. But Julien's team rode a red-hot Tim Thomas and found a way to get to Mike Smith and beat the Lightning, 3-1, to come within one game of the Stanley Cup finals.
"I think it’s kind of a normal situation right now," Julien said. "Everybody understands the expectations, the pressure. It’s a 2-2 series and our guys want to do well. I think they were prepared, I think they were mentally ready for the game, but sometimes the pressure slows you down a little bit. And we kind of loosened up in the second period. We talked about it and we knew we couldn’t win the hockey game playing that way. So we had to loosen up and our guys did a great job, starting with the penalty kill again in the second period and then we took...
Tim Thomas was sensational in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, leading the Bruins to a 3-1 win and a 3-2 series lead. But on the biggest save of the night, he admitted afterward, he was a little lucky. Thomas dropped his stick just in time to keep Steve Downie's shot from going in, a goal that would have tied the game with 10:40 left in the third.
"I saw him getting ready to take the shot but I couldn’t see the puck and that’s probably why he had to shoot wide, is our guy was taking away the shooting lanes but I picked it up it was somewhere about half way to me but I saw it was going wide and I was out toward the top of the crease so I didn’t have time to get my whole body back," Thomas said. "With the way the new boards are nowadays in all the arenas, you got to be on your toes with the big bounces and the big bounce came out and, you know, it was just a reaction and a desperation and I’ll admit I got a...
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