Last season, goaltender Tim Thomas put the Boston Bruins on his back and helped lead the team to its first Stanley Cup since 1972 while earning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the end. There is no reason to think the 37-year-old can’t do it again for the second straight year, but it won’t be easy.
It just so happens that the No. 2 seeded Bruins have to take on the No. 7 seeded Washington Capitals in the first round and already it is proving to be a real headache for Thomas.
When a major sports franchise from the United States wins a championship, that team is often celebrated at the White House for the day, a day when players and coaches get to meet the most powerful man in the world. It’s considered an honor to meet the president and tour his home – an honor Thomas decided to skip back in January because of his political ideological differences with President Barack Obama and his administration.
Thomas went on to post an in-depth message explaining his reasons on Facebook the following day – much to the dismay of sports fans. In the statement, he clarified that he believed the government had grown out of control and no longer reflects the ideals of the Constitution. As the season continued to play out, the story quickly faded away from the spotlight. That is until last week, when the NHL Stanley Cup matchups were official.
During a media session on Monday, Thomas was asked a question on his decision not to attend the White House trip – since the topic was once again relevant – but instead of answering, Thomas abruptly ended the session and walked off.
Did he honestly believe that he wouldn’t be asked this type of question, despite the fact that a portion of the playoff series will take place practically in the White House’s backyard? The topic clearly has no direct tie to hockey but Thomas has never really been candid about his political views, as we have seen thanks to the back of his helmet.
If a question like that rubbed Thomas the wrong way, it leads us to believe that the topic could become a distraction for the Boston goaltender. Let’s face it, the media was a lot nicer to Thomas about the subject than the Capitals fans are going to be when Game 3 rolls around at the Verizon center.
It might actually become a big story line for the series and if Thomas is off of his game – which is certainly tough to do – there is no reason why the Capitals can’t pull off the opening round upset. The Capitals might want to call Obama and get him seats right behind Thomas’ goal, that will surely mess with the guy’s confidence!
Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI