Skip to content

Panthers will keep playing Team USA candidate Thomas ‘a lot’

Nov 28, 2013, 5:06 PM EDT

timthomassadgetty Getty Images

Tim Thomas has started 10 straight games since Peter Horachek took over for Kevin Dineen as the head coach in Florida and, if Horachek has his way, that number could double before another goalie gets a shot.

“He is the strength back there. He’s our best penalty killer. He’s an important factor,” Horachek told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “The fact that he’s playing all the time is just because we need to keep pushing forward.

“We’re going to utilize him a lot.”

All things considered, Thomas has been impressive after a year-long NHL sabbatical. The Panthers are bad and he missed extensive time early with a groin injury, but has still managed to post a 6-8-1 record with a .909 save percentage and 2.75 GAA. The 39-year-old had arguably his finest outing of the season in a 3-1 win over Philly on Monday — stopping 38 of 39 shots — and has helped the Panthers secure points in four of their last six games.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported Thomas had played well enough to make USA Hockey’s shortlist of six goalies for the 2014 Olympics, along with Ryan Miller, Jimmy Howard, Cory Schneider, Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick.

As such, Horachek’s remarks about maximizing Thomas’ workload become quite interesting. It sounds as though he’ll have numerous opportunities to both showcase himself and knock off any lingering rust from his time away from the game, which would be two big pluses for his Olympic candidacy.

“He’s a difference-maker,” Horacek said. “The fact that he could take a year off and come back and play shows what kind of goaltender he is.”

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT

    Lucic spear

    There was no penalty on the play.

  2. Detroit stuns favored Bruins with late goal to take Game 1

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT

    Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall, Patrice Bergeron AP

    Jimmy Howard had a shutout in the goaltending duel.

  3. Playoff viewership way up through first two days

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:09 PM EDT

    nbcsn_acronym_logo_horizontal_finalsmall

    Naturally, the Blackhawks-Blues triple-overtime game was very popular.

  4. Video: Bruins establish physical game early

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron

    Detroit was near the bottom of the pack in hits in the regular season.

  5. Video: Canadiens end long power-play drought

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:34 PM EDT

    Montreal goal

    They took a 1-0 lead over Tampa Bay in the process.

  6. Chicago looks past triple-overtime loss

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v St. Louis Blues - Game One Getty Images

    “We expected a tough series against (St. Louis).”

  7. Yeo argues Wild need to be more physical with rookie MacKinnon

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT

    Nathan MacKinnon AP

    The rookie had three assists last night.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins (Game 1)

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Gustav Nyquist, Tuukka Rask AP

    The last of the first round series is about to begin.

  9. Quenneville gets $25,000 fine for ‘bush-league move’

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    Joel Quenneville AP

    This isn’t the first time he’s been fined.

  10. Poile: Nashville’s defense will be best we’ve ever had

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    sethjonesgetty Getty Images

    That’s a pretty bold statement, given that Nashville used to have blueliners like Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter.

  11. Report: AHL could have new division in western U.S.

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

    AHLlogo

    Apparently, the “Coyotes, Ducks, Kings, and Sharks are on board” with relocating their minor-league affiliates closer to home.

  12. Stars farmhand Morin wins AHL MVP

    Apr 18, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

    TravisMorin2 Getty Images

    30-year-old vet led the league in scoring.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4468)
  2. T. Oshie (4323)
  3. M. Duchene (3866)
  4. B. Bishop (3353)
  5. H. Zetterberg (3077)
  1. V. Tarasenko (2904)
  2. P. Bergeron (2871)
  3. O. Palat (2808)
  4. D. Backes (2773)
  5. M. Brodeur (2588)