Big games? Kimmo Timonen has lost ’em all.
During his 20-year pro career, the veteran defender has been on the cusp of capturing the Stanley Cup with the Flyers in 2010, the World Championship (1998, 1999, 2001) and the Olympics (2006) with Finland.
His team has come up short every time.
So the 40-year-old is taking nothing for granted even as his Chicago Blackhawks carry a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 on Monday night at the United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA). And the always entertaining Finn found a colorful way to reinforce his focus on the task at hand:
Kimmo Timonen: "Every hour you have to say to yourself, 'Stop it.' There's a game, and it's a big game, and we haven't won shit yet."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 15, 2015
Timonen has made it clear that this will be his last kick at the can. Closing out a career spent as a top-pairing defenseman, he’s been reduced to spare-part status for the Blackhawks in the playoffs, a scratch some nights and barely used on most others. But he’s made an impression on his teammates and coaches with his professionalism and good humor.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for him,” head coach Joel Quenneville said. “I commend him how he’s handled a tough situation for us.”
Timonen has spent his career skating on the losing side. Maybe tonight’s the night he goes out as a winner.