After back to back disappointing losses in Games 1 and 2, many Bruins fans were calling for Tuukka Rask to replace Tim Thomas in goal for the Bruins.
After a win in Game 3, fans laid back a bit. With another solid effort in Game 4, the confidence in the Vezina Trophy front-runner grew. And with Thomas’ tremendous effort in last night’s Game 5, 2-1 double-overtime victory, no one should doubt Thomas any more.
The biggest save of the night (from an actual goalie) came in double overtime when Travis Moen and Canadiens Captain Brian Gionta rushed in on a two-on-one.
“Well, I just thought Timmy [Thomas] was really, really good for us tonight,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “Obviously I think that save was an outstanding one, but [Michael] Ryder’s save comes in as the second best save of the game probably and even between [Patrice] Bergeron and Zdeno [Chara].
Thomas knows how important the save was for him, and his team.
“Well when it started I actually came out and was playing it as if [Travis] Moen would have a breakaway, because that’s what it looked like, a break, right off the start,” said Thomas “And then I realized my D was going to get back and make it a two-on–one, and I was out pretty far so I had to make sure I started to get my backward momentum going so I could play both the shot and the pass. And I was just barely had enough speed to be able to make that push over on the pass. And I was just fortunate enough to get a leg out and cover that part of the net.”
Thomas stopped 45 shots and made some outstanding saves keeping the Bruins in the game. With his unorthodox style of play it can be scary at times, but Thomas gets the job done. Yes Thomas is out of position on many plays, but he still finds a way to stop the puck and get the job done.
People label Thomas as a regular season hero who has never done anything in the postseason, and use the numbers to back this up. Coming off of hip surgery Thomas had arguably his best season between the pipes. Thomas won 35 games this year with 9 shutouts and led the league with a Goals against Average of 2.00 and a Save Percentage of .938
Flip the page to the postseason and Timmy’s numbers aren’t so great. Heading into Game 5 with the Canadiens the Flint, Michigan native is 12-10 in the playoffs. Thomas’ posts a goals-against average of 2.27 and shows a save-percentage of .923. The goals-against and save-percentage numbers are decent, but in the second season, it’s all about wins and losses.
The Bruins and their fans know that if the Cup is coming to Boston this year, Thomas needs to be sharp. With back-to-back overtime wins where he was outstanding, people can breathe again. Thomas has showed he’s focused and ready for a long playoff run, so go ahead folks it’s okay; show some confidence in the guy, he’s earned it.