Written by Andy Dunk
After winning the Vezina Trophy as the leagues top goaltender during the 2008-2009 season, many thought that the Boston Bruins had found a guy who could take them to the top. With expectations high, the Bruins began the 2009-2010 season. However during that season, Thomas not only took a step back, he took a seat on the bench. Although posting a solid goals-against-average of 2.56, Thomas was outplayed by Tuuka Rask. Rask forced the Bruins hand and took over the starting job posting a 1.97 goals-against-average. With two great goaltenders, Thomas was heavily involved in trade rumors throughout the season. At 36 and out of a starting job, many players would have thought about hanging it up for good. Fortunately for the Bruins, Tim Thomas is not your typical player. Thomas came into this season as the second goalie for the Bruins. However from the start of the season it was clear; Thomas had something to prove. He took back his starting position and returned to his dominant form. Thomas posted a 2.00 goals against average and an incredible .938 save percentage. The Bruins would finish the season as the third seed in the east.
Heading into the playoffs, a hot goaltender is the number one thing that a team can ask for. Last year the Blackhawks were led by Antii Niemi who was a force in net. Hockey fans will always remember, Marc Andre Fleury’s brilliant postseasons for the Penguins and Cam Ward’s colossal series for the Hurricanes in 2006. This year, Tim Thomas was that guy. Thomas posted a record of 16-9 during the postseason including 4 shutouts. Most impressive, Thomas had a 1.14 goals-against-average in the Stanley Cup Finals. With his team struggling on the power play and fighting through injuries, Thomas was the one constant for the Bruins. He consistently stepped up in big situations helping the Bruins come back from a 3-2 deficit in the finals. In the biggest game of all, game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Thomas outplayed the Canuck’s Roberto Luongo, stopping all 37 of the shots he faced. With timely goals and Thomas’s brilliance, the Bruins were able to capture their first Stanley Cup Championship since 1972. In honor of his performance, Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy which is given to the most valuable player in the playoffs.
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