By Nick Stoico
Tim Thomas has always been a bit quirky. Consider his unorthodox style of play, his choice of representation, and his way of leaving Boston. His most recent return to the city as a member of the Florida Panthers did nothing to change that perception.
The 39-year-old netminder took to the ice sporting a blue helmet-and-cage combo that looked similar to what a youth skater in a house league might wear. It also had a classic dangling white neck guard that brought some nostalgia with it. For fans in Boston, Thomas' choice of headwear was reminiscent of some of his more interesting facial protection through the years.
But in the first period, Bruins' forward Jordan Caron fired a wrist shot from the left circle that deflected off Thomas' cage and onto the blade of Jarome Iginla's stick. Iginla capitalized on the rebound and put away Boston's second goal of the night. Florida's netminder was left with a flashing red light behind him and a broken cage, which led him to fetch his backup helmet ... and it was just as glorious: a sinister, dark red in the same style, but with only a neck protection strap. Thomas made it out of the game without injury or further incident, but if a booming Zdeno Chara slapshot had come ripping towards his jugular and thats all he'd had on, it would have been bad news. In all, Thomas allowed three goals on the night as the Bruins beat his Panthers 4-1.