Thomas roaming too far?

By Nick Tavares

BOSTON — The Bruins will host the Canucks in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight (8 p.m. / TV: Vs., CBC / Radio: 98.5 FM), and as reported, they’ll do so without Nathan Horton, out for the series with a serious concussion suffered at the hands of Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome Monday night.

Canucks doubting Thomas’ freedom

Bruins netminder Tim Thomas has an aggressive style that relies on coming far out of the crease and cutting down the angles of shooters, and so far, it’s been incredibly frustrating to Vancouver.

Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault is specifically calling his style out, claiming that when he leaves the crease, his players have a right to station themselves there.

“Part of Thomas’ way of playing is playing out of the blue paint, initiating contact, roaming out there,” he said this morning. “He seems to think that once he’s out, set, makes the save, that he can go directly back in his net without having anybody behind him.

“Well, that’s wrong. He’s got the wrong rule on that. If we’re behind hom, that’s our ice and we’re allowed to stay there.”

But are they allowed, really? It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. I don’t expect Thomas to change his style of play, so the question lies on whether the refs call interference on the Canucks’ forwards, Thomas for clearing his own room, or just let the situation play itself out. I’m expecting that last option.

Caron makes jump from Black Aces

Bruins head coach Claude Julien likes to dress 23 skaters for practice and warmups before scratching three, and in keeping with that, rookie right wing Jordan Caron will don his no. 38 sweater for the first time in the finals, though he’s not expected to play tonight.

That honor will go to Tyler Seguin, who dressed for Games 1 and 2 but was a healthy scratch in Game 3. Look for him to resume his place on the third line, likely skating alongside Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley, with Michael Ryder assuming Horton’s spot on the top line, at least to start.

Along with Caron, Shane Hnidy and Steve Kampfer are the likely scratches. Look for these lines tonight:

17 Lucic … 46 Krejci … 73 Ryder
63 Marchand … 37 Bergeron … 28 Recchi
49 Peverley … 23 Kelly … 19 Seguin
20 Paille … 11 Campbell … 22 Thornton

33 Chara … 44 Seidenberg
21 Ference … 55 Boychuk
12 Kaberle … 54 McQuaid

30 Thomas
40 Rask

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