Tim Thomas Honored But Maintaining Focus After Being Named NHL’s No. 1 Star of the Week


Tim Thomas Honored But Maintaining Focus After Being Named NHL's No. 1 Star of the Week WILMINGTON, Mass. — Tim Thomas' historical start to the season is finally getting him a little national attention.

The Bruins goalie was named the NHL's No. 1 Star for the past week, an honor he easily could have earned in just about every week of this young season.

"It's good," said Thomas upon learning of the honor after Monday's practice at Ristuccia Arena. "To be honest, I thought maybe I'd be in contention one of the other weeks possible, too. It's always an honor when you get recognized league-wide like that."

Thomas edged out friend Joe Thornton for the award after posting back-to-back shutouts against Toronto and Ottawa. Thornton led all scorers with three goals and five assists in two games for San Jose to earn No. 2 Star honors, while Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith was the No. 3 Star with 1-6-7 totals in three games.

Thomas made 20 saves to blank the Leafs 2-0 in Boston on Thursday then stopped all 29 shots he faced in Ottawa on Saturday in a 4-0 win. That's just the latest in what has been a stellar start to the season for Thomas, who is 6-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .984 save percentage.

Thomas has three shutouts in his first six starts, while allowing just a single goal in his three other appearances.

Bruins coach Claude Julien has been involved in the pro game for more than three decades but couldn't recall witnessing a goaltending streak this impressive.

"No, not of this nature here," said Julien. "We're talking about 0.50 [GAA] and that's pretty special, I think. It's just a matter of riding it. You've got to see if hopefully a goaltender can keep doing that for you as long as he can."

Thomas himself, however, did have a comparison from his own career.

"In Finland, I think I got five shutouts the first 10 games the lockout year," said Thomas. "That was the last time I actually felt similar to this. So I may have put up numbers similar to this, but not in the NHL, obviously."

Thomas was the MVP of the Finnish League in 2004-05, posting 15 shutouts in 54 games with a 1.58 GAA. He also had plenty of success in the NHL, winning the Vezina in 2008-09 after leading the NHL with a 2.10 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

But this season, it's not Georges Vezina that Thomas is being compared to; it's Cecil "Tiny" Thompson. He was the last Bruins goalie to start a season with six straight victories back in 1937-38, though Thomas admitted he needed to brush up a bit on his knowledge of the Hall of Famer.

"I even forgot that his first name was Cecil," said Thomas. "I was wondering, 'Is his real name Tiny? Was he born a small baby?' So now I know the answer to that one. … It's probably a lot like your name being mentioned in the same sentence as Vezina. Whenever your name is associated with people that have had that level of success, it's an honor."

It might not be the last honor of the week for Thomas, as the NHL will unveil its Players of the Month for October on Tuesday, and Thomas has the support of at least one person for that award.

"That's not up to me to decide, but certainly he's made a case for himself," said Julien. "We're definitely happy to see him play that way. Every night it gives us a chance to win. We know how important goaltending is in this league, and he's provided us some outstanding [goaltending]."

Thomas, however, is more worried about the games to come than reaping rewards for what he's already accomplished.

"I'm sure I'll be proud of these accomplishments as far as the records looking back," Thomas said, "but right now I'm more focused on trying to do my job day-to-day."

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