Nostra-Thomas? Goaltender’s prediction comes true as Bruins best Lightning
Move over Broadway Joe, here comes Beantown Tim. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, predicted before yesterday’s Eastern Conference Final game 5, that his team would be victorious. After all was said and done, he held true to his word. In a hard-fought game, the Boston Bruins emerged the victors over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The primary reason for this was Thomas himself, who turned in a magnificent performance, stopping all but one of the 34 shots he faced. Could he have super powers? Perhaps, but I don’t believe that they involve predicting the future.
Instead Thomas made his prediction become reality. His powers lie in his goaltending ability. He has a slinky for a spine and is far more fast and agile than he should be at the ripe old age of 37. In fact he is more fast and agile than most goaltenders are at the age of 27. He reminds me of Dominek Hasek, as he is unorthodox, and makes up for less than sound positioning with unfathomable acrobatic saves.
This was never more evident than on his save on Steve Downie with 11 minutes left in the 3rd period. Thomas looked beat, yet some how he spun around, reached behind him, and knocked the puck away with his stick just before it crossed the goal-line. “It was just reaction and, you know, desperation,” said Thomas. “I’ll admit I got a bit lucky there.”
But when you watch Thomas, he appears to “get lucky” quite often. Was it luck that lead him to a Vezina Trophy 2 years ago? Was it luck when he set an NHL record for save percentage in a season this year? Maybe, just maybe there was a little bit of talent behind all the luck. Thomas consistantly comes up with big saves at crucial moments. This is what the bruins need to survive as their offense is less than potent, as shown through their abysmal numbers on the powerplay.
This series has the makings of a classic. It pits perhaps the best offense in hockey in the Lightning versus perhaps the best defense in the Bruins. In game 5, Thomas was able to hold offensive monsters Lecavalier, St. Louis and Stamkos to one assist combined. This is the key for the Bruins. Their offense was nothing great, only putting 2 past (normal) backup goaltender Mike Smith (plus one empty-netter). Thomas was the difference, and for Tampa to have any hope of coming back in the series they will need to make Thomas look human. Easier said than done considering the swagger he is now playing with. I would look for the Bruins to return to the finals for the first time since 1990.
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