For all Boston Fans, it has come to a time where we hit the dilemma that, I'll admit it, probably every single hockey team wishes it could face: which goaltender is better out of two great goaltenders, and which one should get the permanent nod. In this case, 29 games into the season, the B's stand atop the NE division, 1 point ahead of buffalo, who has 2 games in hand. Tim Thomas has played 17 games, posting a 7-7-3 record with 2.48 GAA and .913 Sv%, whereas rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask is is 8-2-2 with a 1.97 GAA and .932 Sv% on the season, good for second best in the nhl in both Sv% and GAA. So then who should get the nod? the Rookie goaltender with less than the average half
season's worth of games under the belt (18 games in career), as opposed to seasoned veteran Tim Thomas, winner of the Vezina trophy last year for carrying the Bruins sometimes single handedly through games? If Thomas is so good, why does he seem to be struggling so much this season?
I actually feel as if Thomas has lower (or higher) numbers that Rask for the odd reason that the Bruins seem to consecutively be not showing up when he plays. I mean, everyone admits that Thomas was left out to dry against the Habs. Certainly, his stint against the Pens was by far not a solid one, and I do more-than-partially-although-not-completely blame the loss on the Tank. Lets take a look at some dates, taking from the period from October 29th to November 5th, the Bruins went 1-3-1 with 4 GF and 9GA. In that period, Rask had one start, on Halloween, against the Oilers, where the B's won 2-0, Rask earning his first shutout of the season.
In all the other games, which thomas started, the games were
29/10: Bos vs NJD, 2-1L, 31 shots against, 32 shots for.
1/11: Bos vs NYR, 1-0 L, 23 Shots against, 29 shots for
3/11: Bos vs DET, 2-0 L, 26 Shots against, 29 shots for
5/11: Bos vs MTL, 2-1 O, 26 Shots against, 43 shots for
As we can see, Boston consecutively outshot their opponents in all those games, and yet the offense STILL failed to show. The inability of the Bruins to score an (frank)ing goal was despairing at best, and yet in all those games, Tim Thomas kept the B's in the game, some of those games like the SO loss against MTL can hardely be blamed on him.
And now looking at his blowout games, apart from the Pitts 6-5 OT loss which was honestly his fault, and the 5-1 Mtl Blowout on 4/12 where he was peppered until he developed an allergic to reaction to anything spicy with shots, his play was very weak on certain goals as the one where he failed to see Hunwick's shot, but can hardly be blamed for the whole loss at all. Apart from those games, there was:
8/10, Bos vs ANA, 6-1 L, 30 shots against, 34 shots for
In this game, which i can't recall, it's obvious that TT was far from being his best, just like 4-1 L to Wash the bruins suffered the week before on the season opener, where in that case the shots were 34-20 in favor of Washington (yet again, in this case, it's obvious the B's offence, again, failed to show up big time. Heck the whole team seemed to forget they were scheduled to play...)
Yet even Rask has had his odd game, like
16/11, Bos vs NYI, 4-1L, 21 shots against, 29 shots for
Tuukka just wasn't there, period.
So whether or not we want to admit it, I think for some odd reason, the Team seems to enjoy watching TT out to dry by failing to score any significant number of goals (4g in 4 games, umm wtf?). the Tanks win/loss numbers may or may not be excellent, but what if he had been in nets during the games where the B's DID score goals? Like against Toronto on the 5th? Would the game had gone down differently?
In all honesty, I still have a lot of faith in TT. Sure every goalie is bound to have a bad game here and there, the game against Pitts is the ultimate proof of that, but there are also so many games when a goalie can keep that glittering shine of hope in a team that they may still be able to tie/win it if they can just get one in, which didn't seem to be the case for the Bruins for a while.
Whether it's because the b's are overconfident when they have Tim covering their backs or not, it seems to me like most of the time, he just seems to be getting the wrong end of the stick...
Yet i take away no credit with Rask. He's been extremely solid, although i wouldn't set him up quite yet as a starter, just because i certainly wouldn't want to do to him what the habs did to Price, pull him up and throw him in early. Let him get the backbench for a year, and then see what happens the year after. I have complete confidence in the ability of both goalies, they have proven themselves time and time again, and will continue doing that, just as long as the 18 players in front of them show up themselves.
A good goalie can certainly keep you in a game, but he sadly can't win it for you.those are my thoughts for the day ;-)
This blog was actually originally meant to be a reply to Jesse Connolly's blog, which can be found here http://www.hockeybuzz.com...eseeable-Future/116/24779