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The End of the Tim Thomas Era in Boston

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 17:02

As a result of Winter Storm Nemo, the Bruins’ scheduled game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning was cancelled.  However, Bruins’ fans were still treated to a historic game with the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 vs. the Vancouver Canucks.  In that season, goalie Tim Thomas had one of the most dominating performances in the playoffs in NHL history.  
   He saved 94 percent of the shots he faced and only allowed 1.98 goals per game in the entire playoffs.  With the Bruins’ 4-0 shutout of the Canucks, Thomas became the first goalie in NHL history to record a shutout on the road in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  
    In addition to his Stanley Cup heroics, Thomas was also known for his controversial decision not to attend the White House reception for the Stanley Cup winners.  
   Despite this, Thomas will be remembered as one of the best goalies in Bruins’ history and it certainly was bittersweet upon learning that he has been traded to the New York Islanders for a conditional 2014 or 2015 second round pick.

    Thomas, who has decided to take a year off from hockey, still has no intention of reporting to the Islanders, which makes this trade more of a salary dump than trying to get a pick in return.  
   If Thomas does not report to the Islanders, the Bruins will not receive the pick they acquired in return for him.  
    However, this does not mean that the Bruins traded Thomas for free.  By moving his 5 million cap hit, the Bruins have more payroll flexibility and, if the Bruins decide to move Marc Savard to long-term injured reserve due to concussion related symptoms, they could have even more money to make a move at the trading deadline. In 2011, the Bruins made moves at the deadline by acquiring Chris Kelly, Tomas Kaberle, and Rich Peverley, which helped them win the Cup.  
   Similar moves for role players could theoretically occur with this trade. With the trade of Thomas, the Bruins are showing their confidence in Tuukka Rask to lead them to victory in this abbreviated season.  
    Rask is 6-1-1 so far, with an amazing 1.96 goals against average.  
   In the Bruins’ last game Wednesday night in Montreal, Rask out-dueled Canadians’ goalie Carey Price to give the Bruins a 2 to 1 victory.  
    With the win, the Bruins ensured their lead in the Northeast Division and allowed them to keep pace with teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference.  
    The Bruins have only given Rask one game off so far, so it will be interesting to see how they manage his workload with games occurring more frequently.  
    Tim Thomas will definitely be missed in Boston as he proved to be clutch in 3 Game 7’s in the 2011 playoffs.  
    Unfortunately, Bruins fans will no longer be able to see Thomas’ classic barrel rolls in goal as he tries to save the puck, but this trade will serve the Bruins well, especially around the trading deadline.  With this trade, Bruins fans can officially say that “Tuukka Time” is truly here.

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