i heart tim thomas

To be honest, I am surprised as anyone that the Boston Bruins will finish 1st in the Eastern Conference this year. I anticipated that they would be better than last year, sure to make the playoffs as one of the best young teams in the NHL. But they went on this amazing roll before Christmas and never looked back, and I could not be more excited heading into the playoffs as I think they have a legitimate shot at making the finals and even winning the cup.

One huge reason for their success this season is Tim Thomas, easily my current favorite Bruin. If you’re not familiar with his story, it is quite remarkable. To make a long story short, Thomas was drafted 217th overall by Quebec in 1994 after a very successful college career at the University of Vermont. He played several seasons in the minors and in Finland, where he played some amazing hockey and was a consistent fan favorite. He finally signed an NHL deal with the Bruins in 2001, but was unable to crack their lineup. In 2004–05, Thomas joined Jokerit of the SM-Liiga, his fourth stint in Finland. He played in all games of the season except one, 54 games in total, and racked up a league-high .946 save percentage. He also surpassed the previous record of 13 shutouts in the league by achieving 15 shutouts during the regular season. Since the lockout, he has held a regular spot with the Bruins, with a slight hiccup in 2006, when he was placed on waivers by the Bruins, and all 29 teams in the NHL passed on him. He was always meant to play second fiddle to the likes of Andrew Raycroft, Hannu Toivonen and Manny Fernandez, but has consistently proven himself to be the better man between the pipes. This year, not only is he the #1 goalie on the best team in the East, he leads the NHL in GAA and Save %, and is the odds on favorite to win the Vezina Trophy.

All this to say that Tim Thomas is a great example of perseverance. He plays with an unorthodox style, and his story is a very winding road, but he has shown that he is as good as any goalie in the world right now, and has definitely earned a contract extension that will likely allow him to finish his career in Boston. The next step in his story is obviously to win it all at the NHL level, and that can [and hopefully will] happen as early as a couple of months from now.

Another reason to love Tim Thomas is that he does not take beep from anyone. Here’s the most recent video evidence from this past weekend.

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    • Jim
    • April 7th, 2009

    Ian
    I am looking forward to watching the Bruins go deep in the playoffs. Thanks for being so understanding about Mom and I not being able to make it over. I am so very proud of you and Lauren for all you have accomplished.
    Give Lauren a big hug for me.

    Love

    Dad

    GO BRUINS GO

  1. No problem. Hope all goes well with the move. Wish we could be there to help. Nice to see Sens fans get a little thrill with a win over the Bruins last night.

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