So, last spring during that ignoble dive into the wrong history records, how many of you believed the reason Thomas wasn’t put in was that Julien had no confidence in Tim Thomas? I know some of you simply expected it was Julien’s well known, occasionally excessive, stubborn loyalty to a player that kept Rask in net as it kept certain skaters on the ice? I also know some of you never expected Thomas to play another game as a Bruin. I have just one question for you all now.
Are you done doubting Thomas yet? Right now, Tim Thomas has all of the Boston Bruins wins this year. He has the National Hockey league lead in goals against average, saves percentage, and shutouts. He’s just one win behind several goalies who have played more games. To top that off he’s also currently tied for the most wins for any Bruin’s goalie to start a season since the days when the NHL was about one fifth its current size. To put it in perspective, the Red Sox drought was still not old enough to vote, and Germany had yet to be split by the Iron Curtain.
At 36 years old Thomas is out playing Martin Broduer who many consider the best goalie ever, and even those less enamored of him will call a top 25 all time goalie. He’s outplaying last years Vezina winner Ryan Miller, and any other goalie you can name and scores you can’t.
Thomas has smacked down the assumption he’d spend most of the season opening the bench door for Rask and robbing the team of cap space to no good. Instead he’s walked back into the limelight by stonewalling some minor goal scoring talents like Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, Daniel Alfredsson, and some guy the Bruins fans thanked during the last Leafs game. He’s employed the whirling dervish style that until Thomas ascended to a full time NHL player had been unseen since Hasek’s hayday. Its unconventional to say the least, uncomfortable for the weak of bladder (and brain) to watch, and has an elegance roughly equivalent to a demolition derby, but it is undeniably effective. Former college team mate Martin St Louis has said there is no book on Thomas and you just have to shoot well and hope for the best. If someone who’s known and played with and against Thomas for decades and who has had much better than average goal totals is convinced of Thomas’s quality, who are you to doubt it?