Thomas Gives Burrows ‘A Little Love Tap’

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Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins fights with Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Four of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins fights with Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Four of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Vancouver Canucks complained about Tim Thomas’ style in net before Game 4.

Thomas had some complaints of his own during the game, but he let his actions do the speaking. And not just with another shutout in the 4-0 Bruins win.

Late in the game, Thomas had enough of Alex Burrows and Co. hitting his stick, and he let Burrows know it with a little shove. Or as Thomas called it, “a little love tap.”

“They’d been getting the butt end of my stick actually. They did it a couple of times on the power-play in the first period also,” Thomas said after his 38-save performance. “I don’t know who it was, I was focused on the puck. That was like the third time that he’d hit my butt end on that power-play. On 6-4, we were up 4-0, the game was getting down toward the end, so I thought I’d give him a little love tap and let him know, I know what you’re doing, but I’m not going to let you do it forever.”

Thomas On His “Love Tap”

“It’s playoff hockey, stuff like that is going to happen every now and again,” said forward Shawn Thornton.

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Thomas taking matters into his own hands is no surprise to the Bruins, who know how much passion he brings to the ice every night.

“Anybody that knows the story of Tim Thomas, he’s taken a real bumpy road to get to the NHL,” said Coach Claude Julien. “He’s had so many obstacles in front of him that he’s overcome, it makes him a battler, it makes him the perfect goaltender for our organization because that’s what we are, we’re a blue-collar team that goes out and works hard and earns every inch of the ice that you can get.”

Even when asked to comment about Thomas’ “behavior,” Alain Vigneault was mum about the tussle.

“He’s one of the best goalies in the league,” said the Canucks coach. “I mean, he’s up for the Vezina. He plays his own style and he’s playing it well right now. He’s giving his team a real good chance to win.”

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“He’s obviously one of the few goaltenders in the NHL that plays that way,” Vigneault said of the style he complained about in games past. “But his numbers are great. He has also in the past, for whatever reason, given up quite a few goals on certain occasions. He hasn’t done that yet. Obviously, we’re maybe responsible partly for that. We haven’t done a good job of getting to the net, getting the screens. We’re going to talk about that tomorrow and see if we can’t fix it.”

98.5 The Sports Hub is the only local station to listen to every game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Coverage begins an hour before each game with the Bruins Pregame show hosted by Dave Goucher & Bob Beers.

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