Friday, October 29, 2010

The Start of Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas. Five games, five wins, THREE goals against, two shutouts.
With a 0.60 goals against average and a .981 save percentage, Thomas has been nearly perfect. And one of his goals against he put a clearing pass on the stick of Washington's Jason Chimera to lose a shutout. Truly amazing start for the recently over-looked veteran, but exactly how good of a start?

The last Bruin to start a season with even four straight wins was Doug Keans in 1987/88 who went on to lose his fifth start. His 4-1 start included a 2.98 GAA, hardly stellar. The last Bruin to go 5-0 to start a season was Cecil "Tiny" Thompson in 1937/38. His GAA over the five games was 1.40 and he had only one shutout. He would win his sixth game as well, beating Chicago 2-1 and lowering his average to 1.33. For Tim Thomas to raise his GAA to 1.33 next game he would have to allow 5 goals.

A quick look at the first five games of some of the graetest goaltending seasons in NHL history;

George Hainsworth, 1928/29 started with a 2-2-1 record, 2 shutouts and a 1.80 average. His second half that year was simply incredible. In his final 22 games Hainsworth went 14-1-8 with 13 shutouts and GAA of 0.59, the same average Tim Thomas has this season after only five games.

In 1951/52 Terry Sawchuk started 4-1 with a 1.00 GAA and 2 shutouts on route to a 44-14-12 record and 1.90 Avg. In 1955/56 Jacques Plante began 4-0-1 with 2 shutouts and a 1.00 GAA. He would finish the year at 42-12-10 AND 1.86 Avg. Bernie Parent almost exactly duplicate Plante's start in 1951, going 4-1, 1.00 in 1973/74. He ended up 47-13-12, 1.89.

Tim Thomas is certainly in terrific company so far, but where he ends up no-one knows.

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