Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas ready for top honours again

Thomas, a veteran who was well aware that NHL chances can be few and fleeting, pounced on the opportunity.

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Welcome back, Tim Thomas. The veteran Boston Bruins goaltender, the Vezina Trophy winner as the league's best netminder two years ago, suffered through injuries, sub-par play and the injustice of losing his starting status to rookie Tuukka Rask last year.

Thomas watched the play-offs from the bench, a mighty fall for a man who was 36-11-7 with a stingy goals-against average (2.10) and scintillating save percentage (.933) the previous season.

As a high-priced 36-year-old back-up when the 2010/11 season began, there were questions about his future. Rask appeared ready to take over the No 1 job for the next decade or so, and surely the Bruins would want to free up the millions of dollars due to Thomas.

Fortunately for the B's, they did not act rashly. They retained Thomas, and were quickly rewarded when Rask endured a slow start.

Thomas, a veteran who was well aware that NHL chances can be few and fleeting, pounced on the opportunity.

He won his first seven starts, giving up a total of five goals, and suddenly Rask was back on the bench. The result has been a season that is superior even to his Vezina-winning campaign.

Thomas has a sub-2.00 GAA, a save percentage approaching .940 and an astounding nine shut-outs. Not only is he a lock to earn another Vezina, he may very well win the league's MVP honours, too. Not a bad comeback for a goalie who turns 37 in a week.

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