Hardware Hopeful

by

tim thomas vezina 2011

Now that the regular season is actually nearing the end, (rather than one week old when some people started handing out trophies) talk and predictions of post-season awards seems to be the Soup Du Jour on a lot of news sites and blogs today. Far be it from me to ignore a passing bandwagon.

From a Bruins perspective, the news centers around Tim Thomas, the current leader in GAA and Saves Percentage amongst NHL goaltenders, and his hopes for a second Vezina Trophy. Jesse Connolly at the Black and Gold Blog makes a great case as to why Thomas should win it. I agree completely. Aside from a brief dip in numbers due, likely, to fatigue, The Tank has lead the race from wire to wire and is most deserving.

The best line on the subject, however, comes from Down Goes Brown is an article entitled Handicapping The NHL Awards Race. On Timmy’s Vezina chances:

Tim Thomas – Has a fantastic goals against average thanks to not actually facing a shot on net ever since Zdeno Chara started standing at the blue line during pregame warm ups, pointing to the stanchion and cracking his knuckles.

DGB may be locked into some repetetive fare of late but you have to admit that one is spit your coffee on the keyboard level funny.

Meanwhile, TSN has an excellent article on rookie impact and you realize what a great year it’s been for freshmen in the NHL and just how tight a race the Calder might be this season. Three worthy goaltenders, Corey Crawford, Sergei Bobrovsky and James Reimer, and three potential 30-goal scorers, Michael Grabner, Logan Couture and Jeff Skinner (if he can pot a couple more) amongst eligible rookies is quite the bumber crop.

Hart Trophy talk seems to center around the usual candidates at the top of the scoring stats column, and another Sedin twin. I tend to dislike the notion of just handing the award to the gent with the most points. I prefer the classic definition of the award being an MVP award, most valuable to your team’s success. A player on a winning, playoff-bound team without whom the club would not be anywhere near as good. A player they could not live without. In the case of the Canucks, not only are there other players who have contributed mightily like Roberto Luongo and Ryan Kesler, but one them is an exact duplicate of Daniel Sedin.

To me, the one player who exemplifies that definition most clearly is the man we started this post talking about: Tim Thomas. Without him the Boston Bruins might be barely hanging on to an eighth place playoff spot if any. Anyone who has watched the team game in and game out will understand my thinking on this. Thomas has literally, at times, saved the Bruins’ season. In fact, the same might be said for Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, to a slightly lesser extent.

So, there you go. Call me a homer but Tim Thomas for the Vezina and the Hart.

For your consideration.

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2 Responses to “Hardware Hopeful”

  1. nightfly Says:

    Grabner’s already at 31 goals and counting. He’s also got a great Twitter feed (@grabs40).

    I like Thomas for the Vezina. Haven’t considered the Hart yet. That’s gonna be a good race.

  2. Ken Socrates Says:

    Thomas’ 9th shutout, driving his GAA back under two, last night against the ‘Hawks was another step towards some nice hardware when it’s awards time. People say that he was a lot more injured last season than we realized, accounting for the drop in performance between his ’08-’09 Vezina season and this year where he has taken the reins once again. ‘Tis good to see, really. He’s a damn fine fellow and a great story, having started his career so late and performed at such a high level.

    And it’s good to see you back ’round these parts, ‘fly. How have you been? Did the Islanders ever solve that cannibalism problem? I have my doubts because it seems Michael Haley likes to eat goaltenders for lunch.

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