Tim Thomas was ready for his close-up in 2010-11. Boy, was he ever. And now, after back-stopping the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup and picking up the Vézina and Conn Smythe trophies along the way, Thomas has plans for 2011-12.
"When you win the Conn Smythe, Stanley Cup and Vézina in one year it's kind of hard to figure out what to shoot for," Thomas said this week – without a shred of cockiness. "It's something I've struggled with this summer and I've basically come to the conclusion you need to shoot for the same thing. It's kind of like a fighter who has gone his whole career to win the championship."
Then Thomas paused.
"I'm really not trying to be cocky, but I've never won a Hart Trophy. At least it's a goal I can shoot for, you know? Bernie Parent's the only other goalie to win the Vézina, Conn Smythe in one year and he did it two years in a row. That's a goal to shoot for, whether I accomplish it or not. A lot of it is up to me, but a lot of it's up to fate, too."
Unlike the Chicago Blackhawks, who were shredded by the NHL's salary cap after their Stanley Cup title, the Bruins core remains largely intact, with Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle the notable exceptions.
"The way it works when you win the Stanley Cup is you're exhausted, you have the parade and maybe one night of a team party, but then everybody goes their separate ways," said Thomas. "I've been getting text messages lately from [David]Krejci talking about how he misses all our dinners together. We're a close group and I think we realize we have a unique opportunity."