Thomas Good, but Not one of the Goaltending Greats

10/18/13 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Oct 17, 2013; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas (34) makes a save against the Boston Bruins in the first period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY SportsWith Florida Panthers’ netminder Tim Thomas taking on his old team, the Boston Bruins, the tilt is sure to invoke feelings of the former battling Bruins’ netminder.

While with the Bruins, Thomas was the little engine that could. After spending several seasons overseas, he came to Boston and made his mark in a big way.

With a Stanley Cup (2011), two Vezina Trophies (2009 and 2011), and a Conn Smythe, Thomas, 34, has had a heck of an NHL career. When his career ends, it is sure to spark a debate in terms of where he ranks in the game among the best goaltenders of all time.

One question that will surely come up is whether or not Thomas has a chance to get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame when all is said and done. He has put up great numbers, has won hockey’s Holy Grail, and has won several individual awards, all of which make him look like a good candidate to one day get into Hockey’s hallowed hall.

On the other hand, one can make the argument that Thomas should not get inducted into the Hall. The number of years he played, his playoff failures and some other inconsistencies are all factors that one can point as not adding up to a Hall of Fame masked man.

Let’s delve deeper into this and explain the thought process.

Put Him in the Hall
Looking at Thomas’s numbers, they are quite good for a goaltender that has played just seven years in the NHL.

If his career were to end prior to him joining the Panthers, Thomas’s record would have been 196-121-50 along with a 2.48 goals against average, a .921 save percentage and 31 shutouts. His record would also show that he won at least 30 games in four of his seven seasons while also picking up at least five shutouts in four of the seven seasons he has been in the league.

Thomas’s limited postseason numbers are also quite remarkable. In his four years of postseason experience, Thomas has won 29 games and has posted a 2.07 GAA, a .933 save percentage to go along with six shutouts.

Speaking of the playoffs, Thomas is a Cup-winning goaltender and did so in a remarkable way in 2011. To go along with his 16 wins, he had a stellar 1.98 GAA, an incredibly high .940 save percentage and four shutouts en route to winning the Conn Smythe as the league’s most valuable player in the postseason.

Thomas also has quite the trophy case. In his seven years in the NHL, Thomas has won the following:
  • Vezina Trophy as the league’s top netminder (2009 and 2011)
  • Stanley Cup (2011)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy (2011)
  • Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award as the goaltender with the highest save percentage (2009 and 2011)
  • William Jennings Trophy for least amount of goals allowed (2009...he shared it with Manny Fernandez) 
  • Four All-Star Games (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2011
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