Opinion: Thomas made a choice as an individual, now he must pay the price
Tim Thomas takes exception to many things, so it's not surprising
that the often crotchety, outspoken and politically motivated former
Bruin would take exception to someone being in his crease...
taking exception to a team with a four goal lead trying to pot one
more, as long as they'd scored six against him already. So when Bruins'
winger Carl Soderberg crashed the net with just seconds left in a rout
at TD Garden on Tuesday night, he made a choice as an individual to
smack him over the head with his stick.
Chop that wood, Timmy!
is revered throughout New England, stemming from his four years as the
goalie at the University of Vermont and his seven years as the stopper
on the Dirty Water ice. People who bring championships to Boston
instantly become icons and are given great amounts of latitude for
behavior - and just about anything will be forgiven...
that "anything" is swinging a thick, blunt goalie stick like an
Headsman's axe at the head and neck of a current Bruins' player - or any
player at all, for that matter - and it really doesn't matter what your
“Nobody was really running into me, until
the end there,” Thomas remarked after the game “Soderberg, the play
before that, he did a pretty hard jab and
then all a sudden the pucks up in the air, you’re catching it and his
stick is in my throat."
"With less than a minute left in the game and
they’re up by four goals, 6-2, I took exception to that." he continued, "But other than
that, I didn’t notice. That’s the way the game is played nowadays. Guys
are in and around the crease.”
Um, news alert, Timmy:
That's the way the game has always been played - and the fact that you
didn't notice until the score was 6-2 says everything that Brendan
Shanahan should need to know: Your team was getting steamrolled, an
opposing player crashed the net and you threw a fit.
fairness, Thomas has always been a good teammate and was in all
likelihood standing up for them by showing them that he's not going to
stand for another team running the score up on them, but much like all
the times that the equally crotchety New England Patriots' coach Bill
Belichick runs up the score on his opponents, the message from the
Bruins was clear:
You don't want us to run up the score, then stop us.
“We can’t stop play because there is 30 seconds left," Soderberg said after the game. "we have to try to score the whole game.”
Boston Bruins' hockey - you should know this. Don't like it? Then
stop them, just don't do it by bashing one of their players over the
head with your stick.
In January 2012, Thomas refused to
visit the White House with the rest of his Bruins' teammates at the
traditional meet and greet that President Barack Obama hosts with the
winners of the Stanley Cup, issuing the statement:
"today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the
White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both
parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This
was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL."
Soderberg over the head with a blunt instrument was a choice you made
as an individual as well - and while President Obama had no recourse as
to allow you your right, the National Hockey League's Director of Player
Safety doesn't have to be so politically correct.