BOSTON -- To hear Bruins goalie Tim Thomas tell it the last several weeks, the media has made him out to be some sort of modern-day Dave Reece, but he hasn't stopped being the same Tim Thomas who won the Vezina Trophy last season and has been a stalwart since emerging on the NHL scene in January 2006.
Whether descriptions of Thomas actually have been that scathing or he just needed to convince himself they were to shake his doldrums, all the words in the world weren't going to change that perception. Only by doing what Thomas did Thursday night at TD Garden -- beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in a shootout -- could Thomas turn those slights around. Now we can laud him as if he's the second coming of Gerry Cheevers … at least until he loses again.
Thomas, starting an NHL game for the first time since Feb. 2, earned his first win since a shootout victory at San Jose on Jan. 14 (he was 0-4-2 over that stretch) and ended the Bruins' 10-game home winless stretch (0-7-3).
Thomas hadn't won a home game since the Winter Classic and hadn't prevailed at TD Garden since Dec. 23.