Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Thomas fires back at Luongo

Categories: VAN vs. BOS

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Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has recently been engaged in a war of words with Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo. (Elsa/Getty Images) Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has recently been engaged in a war of words with Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The verbal jabs between Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo started after Game 5, when the Vancouver goalie made some curious comments regarding his counterpart's approach of playing Kevin Bieksa's point shot aggressively. After Bieksa planted the puck off the end boards, Thomas couldn't recover in time to snuff Maxim Lapierre's sharp-angle shot.

"It's not hard if you're playing in the paint," Luongo said. "It's an easy save  for  me, but if you're wandering out and aggressive like he is, that's  going to happen. He might make some saves that I won't, but in a case like that, we want to take advantage of a bounce like that and make sure we're in a good position to bury those."

A day later, while Thomas's teammates defended their goalie, Luongo tried to clarify his remarks. In doing so, Luongo gave Thomas another poke.

"I've been pumping his tires ever since the series started, and I haven't heard one nice thing he had to say about me," Luongo said.

On Sunday, Thomas came back at Luongo.

"I didn't realize it was my job to pump his tires," Thomas said sarcastically. "I guess I have to apologize for that."

In response, Luongo was asked if he regretted his words after Game 5, which prompted the entire spectacle.

"I know we're in the Stanley Cup Final," Luongo said. "Everything is under the microscope and going to get blown out of proportion. Obviously my whole comment, I don't think, was a negative comment if you take the whole comment.

"But at the end of the day, I'm one win away from winning a Stanley Cup, and that's all I really care about now. All the other stuff is noise to me and doesn't really affect what's going to take place for me tomorrow night. To be honest with you, I don't really care."

Peverley practises on 1st line

During practice Sunday at TD Garden, Rich Peverley skated on the first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Peverley will most likely start on the No. 1 line Monday night (CBC,, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET). However, based on matchups and how much Peverley has to kill penalties, Michael Ryder should see some action on the first line.

"I probably played only five or six shifts with them in total just because of [matchups] and penalty kills," Peverley said of his first-line play in Game 5. "It wasn't so much line changes. It was more about where I was going on in the power play and penalty kill."

Tyler Seguin could also skate some shifts on the No. 1 line.

Unfamiliar territory

Against Montreal in the first round and against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference final, the Bruins entered Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead. In both rounds, the Bruins dropped Game 6 on the road. They returned to the Garden to win Game 7.

"We're on the other side of the coin right now," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I don't look at it that way more than I look at our resolve during the season and different times when we have had to come up large - whether it's Game 7 in the playoffs or whether sometime during the season when we needed certain wins.

"Our guys have always responded well, and I have a lot of confidence in our team. The reason we're here is because those guys have delivered. I don't expect that to change."

Campbell takes seat on PP

In Game 5, Julien introduced centre Gregory Campbell to the power play for the first time in the playoffs. During the regular season, Julien gave Campbell spot duty in front because of his ability to tip pucks.

But Campbell rarely had a chance to get his stick on pucks in Game 5. The Bruins struggled to gain clean entries. As a result, they didn't get set up enough for Campbell to be a net-front factor.

Campbell didn't participate in power-play drills Sunday.

"Our intention was to put him in that position last game," Julien said. "But when you don't get set and the puck keeps going down the other end, you don't see the usefulness of his role. So at one point, we moved guys around, hoping that somebody else could be the guy that could carry the puck in and have different looks. When one thing doesn't work, you go to the next. Simple as that."