The veteran netminder has played in eight straight games for the Bruins, including three straight starts since Tuukka Rask went down with a groin and abdominal injury against the Islanders.
While the team expressed a desire to rest Thomas more this season than they have in the past, it hasn't played out that way so far.
Now, with Rask on the mend for four to six weeks and Marty Turco an unknown commodity on the Bruins bench, the B's may be forced to play Thomas even more. That is, unless head coach Claude Julien decides to ease back on Thomas' playing time to give Turco a chance — even if it means risking an extra regular season loss or two.
Now, there's nothing to point to as evidence that Thomas is tiring down the stretch, and also nothing to suggest Turco won't be a capable stopgap for the team. But with the Ottawa Senators playing well and nipping at the Bruins' heels for the Northeast Division, every game could be the difference between the No. 2 seed in the East or losing out on home ice through the first two rounds of the postseason.
There's something to be said for winning the division, but there must also be value in having a well-rested No. 1 goaltender heading into the playoffs. And while he may not show it, Thomas certainly isn't getting any younger and might benefit from a few days off in the coming weeks.
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