Tim Thomas not focused on jabs

Updated: June 12, 2011, 11:05 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has a message for Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo and it's not in the form of flattery.

Luongo has taken a few digs at his counterpart, and fellow Vezina Trophy finalist, the last couple of days, and when asked to respond after the Bruins' practice Sunday at TD Garden, Thomas took a different route.

"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."

The Canucks lead the best-of-seven Stanley Cup final 3-2 with Game 6 Monday night.

"I know we're in the Stanley Cup final and 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," Luongo said Sunday. "But at the end of the day you know what? I'm one win away from winning the Stanley Cup and that's all I really care about right now. All the other stuff is noise to me."

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault backed up his goalie in French.

"If you look at the comment as a whole, what he said was flattering toward Thomas. But you guys (media) took only the part that made it a headline," Vigneault said.

Prior to the Canucks flying to Boston on Saturday, Luongo suggested that he hasn't been getting enough respect from Thomas in this series.

"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."

After Vancouver's 1-0 victory in Game 5 on Friday, Luongo made it a point to criticize and critique Thomas on the game-winning 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."

The Canucks' Max Lapierre capitalized on Thomas being out of position early in the third period in Game 5 and snuck in the game-winning goal.

Bruins coach Claude Julien defended his goalie on Saturday.

"I don't think Timmy is going to make much of that comment (by Luongo). 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."

Thomas isn't about to get into a war of words at this point of the season.

"I guess I didn't realize it was my job to pump his tires," Thomas said Sunday with a laugh. "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."

Patrice Bergeron said the trash talk was something he's seen before.

"We've seen it before, even in previous series, sometimes guys are trying to play the head games and you just can't worry about that and it's part of the sport," he said. "You just have to worry about what you can control."

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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