by PuckStopsHere on 03/16/12 at 02:36 AM ET
Tim Thomas is one of the best goalies in the NHL. He is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and the defending Conn Smythe Trophy winner. He was voted to be the starting goalie in the NHL All Star Game this season. Recently his top season is falling off the rails. In nine games played so for in the month of March, Thomas has recorded a .842 saves percentage and a 4.06 GAA. What is wrong with Tim Thomas?
The simplest answer might be to look at his age (37) and the amount of hockey he has played in the last year or so with his playoff run last year. Thomas has played in 133 playoff and regular season games in the last two seasons. That is a lot for a goalie. It may be more than a 37 year old is capable of handling.
Perhaps an explanation is that Thomas has been taken out of his usual game state by the controversy regarding his refusal to appear at the White House when Barack Obama congratulated the Bruins for their 2011 Stanley Cup. This has had Thomas interviewed about his politics instead of about hockey. It has likely changed the priorities in his mental preparation.
Perhaps Thomas is playing with an injury. I cannot see it in his play and cannot site a specific play where he seemed to get hurt, but it remains a possibility. With Tuukka Rask out due to injury, they cannot afford a Thomas injury as well.
One thing is clear. Tim Thomas has been playing poorly lately. This is perhaps his worst run in his NHL career. As the top goalie on the defending Stanley Cup champions, he needs to do better during the stretch drive this season. If he doesn’t turn things around, Boston cannot turn things around and will be quickly defeated come playoff time.
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