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An All-Star First Half for Thomas

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins - Goals against average: 1.81. Save percentage: .945. Shutouts: 7. Wins: 24. Those are the numbers of an all-star goalie and that's exactly why Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is front and center in Raleigh for NHL All-Star Game 2011.

Eastern Conference goalie Tim Thomas, of the Boston Bruins, makes a glove save during the third period of the NHL hockey All-Star Game in Montreal on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Just a few months removed from off-season hip surgery, the 36-year-old veteran netminder has returned to his Vezina Trophy form of 2009. 

For some players, the All-Star break presents players with a few days to reflect on the first portion of the season. But Thomas' eyes remain on the road ahead.

“I haven’t really sat back and reflected though…really there’s not use thinking about it, [it’s] what you keep doing the rest of the year and I’m just going to keep approaching it the same way I have been,” he said.

Thomas touched down in North Carolina on Thursday night and has been enjoying the All-Star experience, something he says is “always a pleasure.”

“I haven’t seen too much...but it looks like there’s a lot of fun things going on and it looks like the fans are going to have a good time,” Thomas said before yesterday’s NHL Fantasy Draft.

Thomas was selected in the fifth round, tenth overall, by Team Staal.

When Thomas takes to the ice on Sunday afternoon, he’ll hope that circumstances put him in a position to be the All-Star game’s winning goaltender for the third consecutive time. 

“We’ll see how it turns out," said Thomas. "We’ll see if I play the third period.

"I mean, the goalies that play the third period have the best chance of being the winning goalie on record.

“The first period really has no chance and the second period has a remote chance...if your team gets a really big lead, but the third period goalie has the best chance to get a goalie on the record.”

If Thomas is going to accomplish the feat he’ll have to stop a few of fellow Bruin Zdeno Chara’s hardest shots from the point.  The two teammates were selected for different All-Star rosters as Team Lidstrom picked Chara in the fourth round, seventh overall.

“I wanted him on my team for his defensive ability," said Thomas. "With his '25-foot' reach you know he’s a great defenseman to have on your team, so I was disappointed we couldn’t end up on the same team.

Not to worry though, Thomas has all the confidence in the world.

A few weeks back, when the All-Star selections were announced, Thomas was asked what would happen if he and Chara ended up on different teams.

Thomas said with a smile, “I win, he loses.”

---Hannah Becker
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