The NHL season has crossed the quarter pole, so it’s time to grade each Bruins player before they start the season’s second quarter in Atlanta Sunday night.
Entering the 2010-11 season, the Bruins pretty much knew that they wouldn’t have to sweat over their goaltending. Of course, neither they — nor anyone on the planet Earth — could’ve predicted how great Boston’s puck-stopping was going to be, or who would be the leader in that department.
Tim Thomas: A
The league’s leader in save percentage (.951) and second-ranked goaltender in goals-against average (1.56) has made a miraculous turnaround from last year’s injury-plagued campaign. If Thomas knew how badly his hip was preventing him from thriving, he undoubtedly would’ve gotten it repaired much earlier. Not only is Thomas making stops, but he’s making them with aggression and confidence, which has resonated with his teammates.
Tuukka Rask: A-minus
A couple early-season missteps, including a rough season-opener, by last year’s rookie sensation opened the door for Thomas to jump in and play a little earlier than maybe some expected. Thomas’ success made it tougher for Rask to get playing time and he had to adjust to a lessened load. A .935 save percentage and 2.36 GAA, however, would make him the undisputed No. 1 on any other team in the league.