By Cam Neely
What do Birmingham, Houston, Finland, Providence and Sweden have in common? They are all places Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas
has played. Despite being a new face to many Bruins fans, Thomas is far from a rookie, and has had somewhat of a less-than-glamorous career. He is a guy that has bounced around to different leagues, different countries and never got much of a shot at the top level. At 32 years of age, Thomas was really getting to a point where, especially as a goaltender, your chances of making the NHL are decreasing instead of increasing. But where many would have quit, Thomas persevered, kept playing, and due to injuries, he got another opportunity with the Bruins.
Even better, Thomas has made the most of the opportunity, and gets much of the credit for bringing the B's back into playoff contention. As Jackie McMullan highlighted in her column in the Boston Globe
last week, he has really given life to this team, not only with his stellar goaltending, but also with his fun and outgoing attitude. No matter what the outcome of the game, you can tell that he is really enjoying his shot; he is always smiling and laughing with the reporters after games. In fact, he probably is enjoying the ride more, having worked so hard to get here. But his enthusiastic attitude definitely seems to be rubbing off on his teammates and now they seem to be having fun again too.
It's been really fun to watch him step up to the plate. You always like to see a player exceed expectations. It's also great to see him having fun. It's easy to take the job for granted, and let it become a grind even when you play sports for a living; it's easy to forget why you started playing in the first place, and unfortunately, that's when you seem to lose the most. Thomas' great positive attitude seems to have reminded his teammates that they should be having fun, and luckily for the B's he came along just when they most needed the wins. Most of all it has been fun to watch!