Monday, July 4, 2011

July-lights: July 4th, Thomas Robs Beauchemin

In honor of 4th of July, today's highlight will involve one of the best American goalies in the league, Tim Thomas. Over the past season Thomas turned out one of the most dominating performances between the pipes, winning 35 games, posting the league's best save percentage and goals against average with .938 and 2.00 respectively, and recording nine shutouts in the process.

These stats and Thomas' overall performance during the season was enough for him to be awarded the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded annually to the leagues best goalie.

Thomas' stellar play continued on into the playoffs where he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded to the player seen as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs, and hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins. Through out the playoffs he recorded a .940 save percentage with a 1.98 goals against average. Perhaps the biggest achievement being his four shutouts over the course of the playoffs, the final one coming in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals where the Bruins won 4-0.

Some may question how Thomas can turn out such stellar numbers, the following video is a major reason why.

Thomas is able to produce such high numbers due to the fact that he never gives up on the play. Thomas and the Bruins found themselves tied, and in overtime with the Toronto Maple Leafs when Thomas saved the game. Leafs' forward Clarke MacArthur came off the side boards and deked, Thomas played the shot. However, when MacArthur dished the puck to defense man, Francois Beauchemin, who joined the play Thomas dived across the crease making a miraculous glove save.

Perhaps the best part of this video is number nine of the Maple Leafs, Colby Armstrong, celebrating in the left face-off circle until he realized Thomas had just robbed Beauchemin. Concluding this post with a resounding applause for Thomas, being able to commit armed robbery and get away with it, and a big USA, USA!

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