<
>

Thomas not dwelling on past struggles

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas breathed a sigh of relief after he had registered his 30th victory of the 2010-2011 season in a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

He said he felt back to normal after ending a four-game winless streak, but it won’t get any easier as he’s expected to start against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night at the Garden. The Bruins have had difficulties with the Habs this season and Thomas is 1-1-1 in three starts with a 4.26 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage.

With the Stanley Cup playoffs on the horizon, Thomas is focused on getting prepared for the postseason and not past statistics.

“I’m a goalie, so I just got to do my job the best I can,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t really matter the team you’re playing against, it only matters if you can put it together that night. That’s all I’m trying to do for tomorrow.”

When Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked about Thomas’ struggles against the Canadiens this season, Julien placed the blame on the entire team.

“You have to look at the bigger picture,” Julien said. “You have to look at the way your team played, and if your team doesn’t play well you rely on your goaltender to be there every night. I think it’s been a combination of all of us. We all have to be better and that’s what we have to focus on tomorrow, being a better hockey club than we have been against these guys this year.”

With 10 games remaining in the regular season, there’s a strong possibility the Bruins could face the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. No doubt Thursday’s game will have a playoff-style atmosphere and could set the tone for the playoffs.

But Thomas said he is focused only on Thursday.

“Not my job,” he said. “I realize that could be the situation out there, but I can only control what I can control and that’s trying to play as good as I can play. I think everybody on the team has to approach it [that way]. You can be aware of the overall picture, but when it boils down to it, you just have to do your job and trust everyone else is going to do theirs.”