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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday morning, and hopes everyone wishes former B’s netminder Tim Thomas well in the future.
Thomas, who is sitting out the season to be with his family, was traded to the New York Islanders for a conditional second-round pick on Thursday. Though it was a rough end, Boychuk hopes fans remember Thomas for his hand in their 2011 Stanley Cup run, and not how his time in Boston came to a close.
“What he did for the city of Boston and our team, nobody will ever forget it,” Boychuck said of the two-time Vezina winner that captured the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy for leading the Bruins to a Stanley Cup. “(Everyone) should wish him well on his future.”
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With Thomas out, the Bruins have moved on to Tuukka Rask in net. The B’s had the ultimate confidence in Thomas between the pipes, and share that same feeling toward Rask.
“Absolutely. Even when Timmy was in net and Tuukka would go in for one game, there is always a sense of confidence,” said Boychuk. “With Tuukka being our number-one, it was the same feeling we had back then. He’s a great goalie, and we’re always confident in him.”
Bruins forward Tyler Seguin scored his first non-empty net goal in Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Seguin was worried his slow start was the result of playing on the bigger ice over in Europe, but Boychuk thinks now that Seguin has found the back of the net, the floodgates are about to open.
“It’s good to see him come out and score that goal last game. I’m sure it’s just going to come in bunches,” he said. “As soon as you get that first one it’s a huge weight off his shoulders. He’s been playing well, it just hadn’t been going in for him. Now that he’s got that first one, I’m sure there’s more to come.”
The Bruins are scheduled to take on the Tampa Bay Lighting at the Garden on Saturday afternoon, though the status of the game is up in the air with a blizzard about to hit Boston. The Bruins will then travel to Buffalo to face off against the Sabres, who gave the B’s their first and only loss on the season.
Tomas Vanek netted a hat trick about Boston that game, and tends to do well whenever he faces the Bruins. Boychuk said shutting down Vanek will be their focus come Sunday.
“We have to figure that one out. He’s an extremely good player and we have to key in on him, make sure to take care of him when we do,” he said.
As for the Sabres team, they made moves to become a much grittier bunch – mainly to compete with the Bruins.
“They’ve always been a good team, and to add some grit is just going to help them,” said Boychuck. “We just have to take care of ourselves defensively (on Sunday) and we’re going to do well against them. Last time we didn’t do that, and we lost.”