Seven months ago, Tim Thomas was a forgettable, and forgotten, man.
By the ides of March, Thomas was injured and replaced as the Bruins’ starting goalie by rookie Tuuka Rask, playing just three regular-season games over the final month, punctuating a dismal 17-18 season that saw his goals-against average jump nearly a half-point after a Vezina Trophy campaign in 2008-09.
But his confidence, and a torn labrum, now returned to health, Thomas has regained his form. In two starts after Rask struggled in the season opener, Thomas has led the Bruins to consecutive victories, allowing one goal.
“When you’re in a certain amount of pain it changes you as a person,” Thomas told the media after Saturday’s 4-1 victory over the Devils. “You try to let it change you as little as possible, but it affects your mood, it affects your temperament and it affects everything. Now having it feel good, I’m getting the bounceback in the other way.”
Playing all but 24 seconds against the Coyotes and Devils, Thomas has saved 60 of 61 shot attempts.
“He just challenged everything,” head coach Claude Julien said. “When he’s on, that’s what he does. He just challenges and doesn’t overthink. He just does the job. He did a great job, even in close. They had some shots and even some rebounds, and he battled on everything.”
Thomas, 36, is giving the Bruins the best kind of problem: Two quality goalies on the same team. Julien told the media after practice yesterday that he hadn’t decided who would man the goal tonight against Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals.
“What a great situation to be in,” Julien said. “With three games this week there’s a really good possibility you’ll see both of them. That’s what I’ll leave it at.”