BOSTON — The list of doubters of Tim Thomas goes on longer than War and Peace, so to finally be picked to an NHL All-Star Game as a reserve on the first attempt has to be fulfilling for the Boston Bruins puck-stopper.
“It’s part of trying to prove yourself,” he explained, hours before the Bruins were set to face Ottawa at TD Banknorht Garden, while reacting to his selection to the Eastern Conference squad for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal Jan. 25. “But it isn’t over. I’ve still got a lot of proving left to do. And I think sometimes maybe keeping that is going to take more work than it was to get that moniker of a good player.”
Thomas was an All-Star last season as a last-minute injury replacement, and he earned the win in net for the East in Atlanta. This season, he wasn’t even on the All-Star ballot despite his solid play of the last two seasons.
“It’s quite an honor. Apparently, just like my style, I like to get picked in unconventional ways,” he said with a smirk on his face. “Last year I was a replacement; this year not being on the ballot. It’s awesome, especially when you look back and consider I wasn’t even in the NHL at age 30 – or at least not until the last couple months of age 30.”
Heading into tonight’s game, Thomas ranks fourth in the league in goals-against average (2.13) and fourth in save percentage (.932). The Bruins’ other netminder Manny Fernandez is actually ahead of Thomas in GAA (1.96) and even in save percentage. While Fernandez didn’t get the All-Star nod, Thomas is holding out hope that there will be double-barreled Bruins action in the All-Star crease.
“I don’t know … sometimes there’s injuries and replacements or whatever. It’d be cool if he could be there too. I don’t know if it’s ever happened before (to have two goalies from the same team) but our whole team here has had a great year,” Thomas said.