Bruins

Tim Thomas Blames Madison Square Garden Lights For Affecting His Play

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Tim Thomas takes the ice at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Tim Thomas takes the ice at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The New York Rangers have the most points in the NHL and have 10 points more than any other team in the Eastern Conference, so clearly, they’ve got quite a bit working in their favor.

On top of stellar goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, a solid defensive system from John Tortorella and a balanced scoring attack, the Rangers also have a bit of an advantage when it comes to their home building of Madison Square Garden. That’s at least what Bruins goalie Tim Thomas seems to believe.

Thomas was asked by the Boston Herald if he is ready for the increased workload that awaits if backup Tuukka Rask is injured significantly.

“Yeah,” he told the Herald. “Especially if I go to an arena with lights.”

The lighting at Madison Square Garden is definitely different from other NHL arenas, as is evidenced by its appearance even on television. Still, they haven’t prevented Lundqvist from leading the league in save percentage and shutouts this year.

Without getting too specific, Thomas also said things just weren’t right for him at MSG.

“Every [goal] was a screen or a weird, goofy bounce,” he told the Herald. “It wasn’t a normal game for a goaltender. Let’s put it that way.”

Thomas made just 13 saves on 17 shots. It was just the fifth time all year that he allowed four or more goals in a game, and the first time since Jan. 22, when he allowed five in Philadelphia.

Going back to the 2008-09 season, when he won his first Vezina Trophy, Thomas is 1-3-1 at Madison Square Garden with a .902 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average.

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