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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Thomas: Age means nothing

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas turns 38 on Sunday. The Washington Capitals' starting netminder for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, Braden Holtby, is only 22.

“That doesn’t mean anything,” Thomas said. “You can’t take that for granted because sometimes these young kids come in and stand on their head because, well for a number of different reasons, but one of them is they never expected to be there so they don’t have that mental pressure beforehand.”

Holtby was thrust into action after starter Tomas Vokoun suffered a groin injury against the Bruins on March 29. The Capitals selected Holtby in the fourth round (93rd overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He’s played a total of 21 games in the NHL and posted a 14-4-3 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

“The way we’re approaching it is he’s another goalie,” said Bruins forward Chris Kelly. “You can take the pros and cons on this rookie goalie who doesn’t have a ton of experience, but maybe he doesn’t realize how big it is, the NHL playoffs, and he goes in there and stands on his head. We’ll approach it as we do any goalie, you go in there and try to get as many pucks at the net and try to traffic in front and make it difficult.”