Often times people get caught up in the moment and proclaim that whatever is now is best. “Lebron James is the greatest of all-time”, “Green Bay Packers are on the verge of a dynasty”, “Dirk Nowitzki is the 2nd best Power Forward of all time”, etc. Hyperbole dominates our world in the 24 hour news cycle…so I figured I’d join in. I am not going to say that Tim Thomas is the best goalie of all time, but he did just have the greatest season of all time.
Heading into this season it wasn’t even clear that Tim Thomas would be the Boston Bruins full-time starter in net. He had suffered a hip injury in the previous season and lost his job to a bright young prospect, Tuuka Rask. Tim Thomas is a fighter. He rebounded from his injury and turned in a spectacular regular season.
Regular Season Stats
- Record: 35-11-9
- Shutouts: 9
- Goals Against Average: 2.00
- Save Percentage: .938
Those numbers are historically good. His save % mark of .938 is the greatest ever. What is even more impressive is that the Bruins gave up a ton of shots during the regular season. He is a slam dunk for the Vezina Trophy, and really should have been given serious Hart Trophy consideration. He was clearly the MVP of the Bruins during the regular season.
Post Season Stats
- Record: 16-9 (emphasis on the 16 because that is all that really matters)
- Shutouts: 4
- Goals Against Average: 1.98
- Save Percentage: .940
Tim Thomas’s post season is perhaps more remarkable than his regular season. Thomas played a ton of games during the regular season, and I sure thought that perhaps his 37 year-old body would wear down during the grind of the playoffs. That never happened. Then just when you thought Tim Thomas couldn’t play any better, he took his game to another level and dominated the Stanley Cup Finals. He hit was clearly in the heads of the Canucks. Vancouver lost their minds. They complained about being out of his crease. Bieksa had the nerve to call him “leaky” after game 4. Luongo told the world that Thomas sucks and that he is better after game 5. Thomas even nailed one of the Sedin Sisters and almost fought Burrows. The guy did everything and completely deserved the Conn Smythe. Nobody else was really in the discussion.
The numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story either. Thomas is a hockey player. He is confident, aggressive, a battler, a leader, a class act, humble, clutch, and easily the most entertaining goaltender I have ever witnessed. Hats off to Thomas on the greatest season ever by a goalie.
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Before the Stanley Cup Finals Started I gave the Citizens four Locks of the Century. In those bets, I went 3-1. Let’s recap:
More Total Points
Before the series I said: “Burrows sucks. I don’t know how else to put it. The guy rides on the skirts of the Sedin Sisters and get points almost by default. Chara will be smashing them in the face all series long and I don’t see that line being a big factor. Kesler will be skating against the Krejci line most likely which means Bergeron will have plenty of space to score. Bergeron is without a doubt getting more points than Burrows.”
I am not even all that proud of this one to be honest. Burrows sucks and is completely gutless, and now everyone knows it. He had 3 points in the series, all of which game in game 2…a game for which he should have been suspended. So in my mind he really had 0 points. Complete non-factor. Bergeron, meanwhile was one of the Bruins better players and leaders in the series. He is a terrific hockey player. He has great character, plays two-way hockey and does all the little things right. By my count he finished with 5 points, and his performance in Game 7 will go down in Boston folklore. I think Bergeron will be thought of much like Dave Roberts, David Ortiz, Teddy Brushci, Ty Law, etc. Maybe not the best player on the team, but a guy who had spectacular moments that will be remembered forever. Its a little ironic that perhaps the 3rd goal of Game 7 which completely locked up the Cup appeared to go off the hand that Burrows bit. Karma is a bitch. Play with some class next time, asshole.
More Total Points
Before the series I said: “I am really confused by this one as well. Chara will most likely be parked in front of the net on the Bruins powerplay which will give him more opportunities to score than normal. He is also good in the transition game and should pick up a few assists when he isn’t murdering the Sedins.”
Again, picking an underdog that never should have been an underdog is nothing to write home about…but its nothing to sneeze at either. Erhoff finished the series with a grand total of…drum roll please…1 pt. Erhoff’s performance was…err–off. 1 pt in the series and a +/- rating of minus 7 for the series. Way to step up in the Stanley Cup Finals, real solid performance. Meanwhile, when Chara wasn’t smashing Thelma and Louise’s faces in, he was contributing on offense as well. He didn’t spend as much time in front of the net like I thought he would, but he still managed to chip in 4 points and was a +5 for the series. Great performance by an elite defenseman and a strong leader.
More Total Points
Before the series I said: “Ryder is good for a one big game a series, but he doesn’t get the minutes required for him to out score Bergeron for an entire series. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Seguin takes a few shifts from Ryder as well. Take Bergeron.”
Well if I was going to miss on one bet, I am glad it was the one involving two Bruins players. Full disclosure, I have never been a big Michael Ryder fan, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Ryder played a terrific series and finished with 6 points to Bergeron’s 5 points. Ryder used his size and great shot to be a very effective player for the Bruins. They probably couldn’t have won the Cup without him. Props to Ryder.
Exact Series Pick
Bruins in 7
Before the series I said: “My heart says Bruins, my head says Canucks, and my balls say Bruins. Usually when my balls and heart agree it’s a recipe for disaster…but I don’t care. Bruins in 7. Suck it Canada.”
I am quite proud of this one. The Bruins were big underdogs in the series. Vancouver had home ice advantage, had just come off an easy series against a soft San Jose team, had the best record, Vezina finalist in net, Hart Trophy Finalist, Selke Trophy finalist blah blah blah…I didn’t care. All of those awards are for the regular season, and they didn’t have a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate on the roster. Something deep down inside told me that the Bruins had enough sand to win this series and I have never been happier with a winning pick in my life. As Barry Melrose said last night on SportsCenter, it was will over skill. The Bruins simply had too much heart, pride, grit, and character to lose to this gutless Canucks team. This was a classic series and good won out over evil.
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