Canucks not happy with Thomas' wandering ways

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas tries to get into position in front of Canucks forward Alex Burrows...

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas tries to get into position in front of Canucks forward Alex Burrows during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final in Vancouver, B.C., June 1, 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:27 PM ET

VANCOUVER - Tim Thomas is known for delivering big saves, not big hits.

But because the style of the Boston Bruins goaltender involves cutting off angles by playing outside his crease, the Vancouver Canucks accused him of interfering with some of their forwards during Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final Wednesday night.

"Obviously it's two totally different styles of goaltending," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "Our goaltender (Roberto Luongo) always plays in the blue, stays in his ice. Their goaltender is always out of the blue and comes into other people's ice.

"We're going to need a little bit of clarification there, especially when he's initiating contact with our team. I'm sure we'll be able to figure it out."

Usually in the playoffs, one of the most heated issue involves forwards running into goalies, not the other way around. This time, those elements have been juxtaposed.

"Basically I have the right to go anywhere there's open ice," Thomas insisted Thursday. "If I'm set, I have a right to that ice. If I'm out of the paint and I'm set, I also have the right to get right-of-way to get back to the crease.

"That's the way I understand it."

The Canucks might not necessarily like that, but they're not about to take liberties with Thomas and risk repeated trips to the penalty box.

"Obviously he plays a little further out than other goalies we've seen," forward Jannik Hansen said. "Again, we can't take runs at him even though he's outside.

"It's a matter of being careful. If he's out there, there should be room around him and behind him, so it's something we can take advantage of."

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

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