WILMINGTON, Mass. — The easiest thing for Tim Thomas to do to set a new single-season NHL save percentage record would be to sit out Boston’s last two games.
With his save percentage now at .9376, he would edge out the record set by Buffalo’s Dominik Hasek in 1998-99 of .9366. But that’s unlikely to happen.
When asked if he’d consider sitting out, Thomas replied with stern “No.”
He also said that he and head coach Claude Julien still had to go over the game plan for this weekend’s final two games of the regular season. With Thomas scheduled to be the Bruins’ No. 1 goaltender to start the playoffs, the coach and player have to determine how much work the netminder needs before the stakes are raised.
When asked if Thomas would definitely play at least one game this weekend, Julien said “he might.”
Despite Julien’s “helpful” answer, it’s pretty obvious Thomas plans on getting in some action and attacking the record. Hasek played in 64 games that record-setting season and finished with 1,877 saves. Thomas has played 56 games and stopped 1,668 shots.
“I try not to think about it. I just try to play the game the same way I’ve played the games the whole season,” said Thomas about his approach if he gets some ice time over the weekend. “I think that’s the right way to approach it. Just knowing the right way to approach it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to. But that’s the goal.”
Thomas said he hasn’t figured out what number of saves and shots he has to face to clinch the record. It could be difficult if he doesn’t get enough shots and lets in a goal or two. His 30-save, two-goal performance Wednesday against the New York Islanders actually kept his save percentage exactly the same.
Of course, a shutout would end all the calculations.
“That’d be the greatest thing,” he said.