Tim Thomas didnt have the show-stopping roll to start this season that he did last year, but then again, he didnt really need to. Thomas had to win back his starting gig with the Bruins heading into last season, but this year there was little to prove after becoming only the second goalie in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy all in the same season.
Despite not being pushed to win his job back, Thomas is still riding an eight-game winning streak, and coming off a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets that featured a 16-save third period.
He did a very good job in the end and helped his team to get the win, said Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. We have to be better in front of the net, a lot of loose pucks there and we have to work on that. When the team needed a save Thomas made it. That's why he's the best.
Thomas had 40 saves in all, spearheading the Bruins to a win. And he had help from his teammates. Adam McQuaid made a leaping effort to bat away a floating puck that seemed destined to land in the net beyond a prone Thomas, and Johnny Boychuk blocked three shots to a protect the 4-2 lead Saturday night.
"Winnipeg was our third game in four nights. We have had a good clip of games, said Thomas. I was tired and I think we showed it at times at the beginning. But we battled through it and got stronger and stronger. That was a big win. I was just trying to battle through it. I have been in those situations before.
The solid net performance leaves Thomas with an 11-4 record as the end of November approaches along with a 1.86 goals against average and a .937 save percentage. He also has three shutouts. The 37-year-old Bs goalie has appeared in 16 games thus far for the Bruins with 15 starts.
The amazing part for Thomas and the Bruins?
Bs coach Claude Julien has spoken about getting Thomas a bit more rest this season after the Bruins puck-stopper played an amazing 82 games last year between the regular season and playoffs. But Thomas has played in 15 games through the first two months of last season, so the Bs goaltender has actually played more this year in his season of "rest."
The Bruins are expected to play Tuukka Rask much more as the schedule really bogs down with three or four games each week, which should allow Thomas to rest before the playoffs.
Thomas held a crazy .951 save percentage last season through the first two months, but his record was a nearly identical 11-3-1 through October and November last season after ripping off seven straight wins to start the season. So perhaps Thomas was a little better last year, but the Bs goalie is once again off to a campaign that appears to be special.
Itll likely take a little more rest and relaxation down the stretch this season than it did last year for the aging Bs goalie, but Thomas hasnt seemed to miss a beat from last season after such a short layoff.