Throughout the offseason, Bruins Daily will be posting daily report cards on each individual of the 2011-12, Boston Bruins.
In order of jersey number, each player will be highlighted. In today’s edition, we have number 30, Bruins Goalie Tim Thomas.
Name: Tim Thomas
Weight: 201 lbs
Contract: Unrestricted Free Agent after 2012-13 season.
2010-11 NHL Stats:
Regular season: 59 Games played, Record: 35-19-1, 5 SO, Save-percentage: .920, Goals-against average: 2.36, Saves: 1527, Shots: 1659
Playoffs: 7 Games played, Record: 3-4, 1 SO, Save-percentage: .923, Goals-against average: 2.14, Saves: 191, Shots: 207
There was always controversy with Tim Thomas whether it was him attending the White House with the team after their Stanley Cup win or if the team should trade him at the deadline. With all things put aside, Thomas turned in another stellar season in between the pipes for the Bruins turning in a 35-19 record, .920 save percentage and 2.36 goals against. Thomas appeared in 59 games in the regular season, but it seemed like a lot more than that with back up star Tuukka Rask on the shelf with injury.
Thomas was third in the league with victories (35), 19th in goals against (132) and 10th in save percentage (.920). Although Thomas did not carry his team into the second round of the playoffs after a dominant playoff last year, Thomas still went 3-4 with 207 saves in those seven games with a goals against average of only 2.14. He did show flashes of greatness as he does with that crazy butterfly technique, but then there were times when Thomas was way out of his crease and out of position letting oppositions in for the easy goal, but that is his style and Bruins fans need to live with it.
Thomas’ character may be an issue for the Bruins going forward. There may seem to be some disconnect between him and the coaching staff and management. At the end of the game seven loss, rumor has it that Thomas walked across the Bruins ‘B’ in the locker room which is an absolute no-no. The 38-year-old may be on his way out heading into the 2013 season with rising star Tuukka Rask rotting on the bench. Cam Neely did stress that the team is happy with these two goalies going forward, but let’s be serious; Rask will not want to be a back-up for much longer. Rask is 13 years younger with a whole bunch of upside. Thomas was the king when he was in Boston for his performances, but he may be wearing a different jersey next year at some point.
Final Grade: B+
It’s no secret that Tim Thomas had one of the best seasons for a goaltender in 2010-11 – having the highest save percentage in a single season in league history en route to his second Vezina Trophy in three years –and was the backbone during the Bruins’ cup run. While Thomas’ celebrity might have gotten into his own head with his Facebook posts and his entertaining ads with Peggy (for Discover) and Arbella Insurance, the 38-year old netminder still managed to put in solid numbers with a .920 save percentage and a 2.36 goals against average. However, there were times where Thomas – on the ice –seemed to have lost a step and showed some tired legs as the season progressed, but who didn’t?
Peter Chiarelli and company have a decision to make as Thomas’ no-trade clause expires July 1. Do they keep Thomas and continue to slowly rotate Tuukka Rask into the top spot between the pipes? Or do they trade him and let Anton Khodobin, who has a one-way deal in the final year of his contract in the 2012-13 season, backup Tuukka and give the Finnish netminder the starting gig to start next year.
While some might consider Thomas’ antics a distraction this year, it should be noted that if Thomas indeed dons the spoked B for the last time, he should be remembered for his stellar and unique goaltending that helped the growth of a new fond renaissance in The Hub of Hockey.
While being virtually impossible to better or even duplicate last season’s stats — particularly in the post season — we need to not lose focus that Tim Thomas’ overall play this season was precipitously better than most of the NHL’s starting netminders. He managed to win 35 games (tying last year’s stat) with five shutouts, while playing in 59 games, which was the most he’s played since the 2006-07 NHL season. As far as the post season: Thomas was one of a handful of players in a Black & Gold uniform that looked to give it 100-percent (Bergeron, Seguin, Rolston & Seidenberg the others). The team overall didn’t give No. 30 much chance to succeed and shine; unable to put quality shots on Holtby in Round 1, and bowing out early with a lackluster performance.
And to echo Tim — should this be his last season in Boston, Thomas must be remembered as one of the Bruins all-time greats. He single-handedly brought a Cup back to The Hub after 39 long years, broke record, won awards, and has been one of the B’s MVP’s and most irreplaceable player during his tenure.
Final grade: B+
Not much else to say here as the other three covered it for me. Even though Bruins management has said they intend on keeping both Rask and Thomas, I still expect the Bruins to explore trade options for Thomas once his no trade clause expires on July 1.
Final Grade B
More Report Cards