TAMPA, Fla. -- The Boston Bruins held a 3-0 lead after the first period in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals but then, in a span of 3:58 in the second period, the Tampa Bay Lightning tied the game and then sealed the comeback with a goal from Bruins killer Simon Gagne 6:54 into the final frame. A late empty-netter from Martin St. Louis finished off a 5-3 win for the Lightning that tied the series at two before the teams head back to Boston for Game 5 on Monday.
Yes, Tim Thomas made a costly error misplaying the puck to Gagne, who then fed the puck to Teddy Purcell for an easy goal to cut the Bruins lead to 3-1 at 6:55 into the second period. And, yes, he didn’t look like the dominating Tim Thomas who has stormed through the regular season and been just as good in the playoffs. But still, Twitter and the airwaves were alive with media and fans calling him out for the Bruins' collapse in Game 4.
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg found that flat-out comical and scoffed at the thought that this loss should be pinned on Thomas.
“No, no way!” Seidenberg said. “I don’t know how many times he saved us during the playoffs and during the season, there’s no way we even think about him having anything to do with us losing. I think it was our mistake up front and not following through with what we’re supposed to do.”
As the postgame scrum around Seidenberg broke up, Seidenberg then added in one final thought on what he clearly thought was an absurd theory.
“Whoever said that hasn’t watched him all season and didn’t watch us stop playing in front of him tonight and in other games,” Seidenberg said of Thomas, who made 32 saves in the loss and is now 10-5 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in the playoffs. “What a joke!”