Before making the trip to Boston for Monday’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo called out Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
“I have been pumping his tires ever since the series started,”Luongo said. ”I haven’t heard one nice thing he had to say about me. That’s the way it is.”
Really? What is this kindergarten? Luongo is mad because Thomas hasn’t said anything nice about him? Tim Thomas isn’t even someone who is generally disliked in the league. This is one of the most childish comments I’ve ever heard from a professional athlete.
After Vancouver’s 1-0 win in Game 5 Luongo actually criticized Thomas’ approach on the play the Canucks scored their goal.
“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 does, 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 good position to bury those.”
Thomas responded Sunday by indicating that his real response will come on the ice in the TD Garden.
“I did hear about what he said, but I don’t really want to go into that,” Thomas said. ”My focus is on what I can do to help my team win going into Game 6. It’s obviously a must-win game and I think it’s important for our whole team to focus on that game and what we can do on the ice.”
He added: ”I guess I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires. I guess I have to apologize for that. Nobody on our team talks specifically about guys on the other team in that way. We’ve done a good job of focusing on the important things, which is what you can do on the ice and I think that’s what helped us to get this far.
“There is obviously going to be talk in the media and they’re going to talk about a whole bunch of different topics and that’s fine. When I watched playoffs in the past, sometimes it’s fun to listen to what is said, but when you’re playing, I think the best course is to remain focused on what you can control and that’s on the ice.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien came to the defense of his netminder, and wasn’t afraid to say the things Thomas could have about Luongo.
“I don’t think Timmy is going to make much of that comment (by Luongo),” Julien said. ”I think you guys (reporters) are making more out of it than Timmy will. Either way, his stats, you know, are proof itself. He’s given up six goals in five games.
“The guy that made the comment, I’m not quite sure how many he let in. I think you guys have a good idea, so I don’t think he (Thomas) is going to lose sleep over that.”