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On Tuesday night, former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas stepped onto the TD Garden ice for the first time since he left the team in 2012.
Let’s just say his reunion didn’t go nearly as swimmingly as that of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett a few days earlier.
Not only did Thomas surrender six goals to his former teammates, but with less than a minute remaining in the third period, he got into a tussle with the Bruins’ Carl Soderberg that ended with Thomas lashing out at Soderberg with his stick. The fracas started with the Bruins up 6-2 and just 30 seconds remaining, after Soderberg crashed hard to the net on a rebound and caught Thomas in the neck area with his stick while trying to go after the puck. Thomas didn’t take kindly to the welcome home gesture, and he sent Soderberg sprawling to the ice when his retaliatory swipe caught the Bruins defenseman flush on the side of his face.
I understand why Thomas would be unhappy taking a hockey stick to the jugular, especially after being lit up for six goals by your former team. But his logic didn’t quite add up:
“The play before that he did quite a hard jab and then all of a sudden the puck is up in the air, you’re catching it, and his stick is in my throat,” Thomas said. “With less than a minute left in a game and they’re up by four goals, 6-2, I took exception to that.”
Congratulations, Timmy! You successfully pooh-poohed the rare applause-worthy effort of a professional athlete not taking anything for granted, giving his all up until the final horn sounded.
But I can see how that might be hard to understand for someone who ducked out of his contract a year early and didn’t feel like putting in the effort to visit the White House with his teammates after winning the Stanley Cup.