Obviously, if you consider this question in the context of something like Google Code Jam, then algorithmic thinking is clearly more important when having to solve algorithmic problems.
In everyday life, however, about a million other factors have to be considered as well, which makes the question much less black vs white.
Just a counter-example: If you need 200 more lines in Java, but everyone in your company knows Java, this isn't a big deal. If you could write it in 5 lines of Python or any other language, but you would be the only one in the company to know that language - it is a big deal. Such big a deal in fact, that you will not even be allowed to do so and instead have to write it in Java.
From a craftman's perspective, we always try to approach with the right tool for the job, but the word right in there is so tricky that one can easily get it wrong.
On the contrary, I found algorithmic thinking in companies to be almost absent. Only few select people possess it, whereas the average joe often already has troubles estimating runtime complexities of loops, searches, etc.
In terms of algorithmic competitions, however, my personal experience from competing in them for several years, clearly tells me that you should stick to one language. Speed is a major factor and you simply cannot afford to waste time on your tools, when you should dedicate it to solving the problems within the time limit. Also consider that writing 200 lines of Java code without thinking is still much faster than hand-crafting 50 lines of complicated python code requiring a lot of thinking, yet both solving more or less the same problem.
Oh and finally, make sure you understand the major differences between algorithmic competition code and company production code. I have seen fantastic algorithmic coders, that wrote horrible code I would not ever accept in a product.