Tim Thomas, by virtue of the Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophies he grabbed last year, has earned the right to start tomorrow's season opener for the Bruins against Philadelphia. Tuukka Rask could be in net Saturday against Tampa Bay.

After that, it's anyone's guess.

Counting the regular season and playoffs, Thomas appeared in 82 games last year. He is 37 years old. He plays an athletic style - the "battlefly,'' his teammates have dubbed it - that can wear on bones and muscles.