The mini replicas of his Vezina and Jennings Trophy are now part of his awards collection. But, as you’d expect, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is not resting on his laurels.
Thomas, who along with his teammates reported to the first day of training camp today in Wilmington, Mass., knows that elite goaltenders are often judged on their team successes when the book is closed on their careers. That’s why he spent the summer doing the same regimen of workouts he did the last two offseasons — the one that helped lift him to the top of the NHL and might make the Bruins a championship-caliber club again. He even reported a to camp a little lighter — the result of some healthier eating — so he should be as spry as even between the pipes.
Offseason tidbit: Thomas and his family spent nine weeks at a rented home on a lake in Vermont. And, despite the same unpredictable weather we had in Boston, he still got out on his boat plenty.
Position battle: Oddly enough, Thomas’ position battle isn’t related to the Bruins. Sure, even though he’s ensconced as the No. 1 netminder in Boston he’ll still talk about the internal struggle to improve and stay motivated. But there’s no way he’ll be challenged for his position. Instead, he’ll be using his performance in black and gold to impress the USA Hockey brass and earn the starting spot for Team USA at the Olympics in Vancouver this February.
Projection: Depending on how things shake out behind Thomas in the Dany Sabourin-Tuukka Rask battle, the Vezina winner should start anywhere from 50 to 60 games. It’ll be tough to match last year’s numbers, but he still be among the league leaders in the major categories and a candidate for the Vezina again.