Video: Thomas robs Elias for save of the (regular) season so far

Romig's taking it on the chin in the Three Stars comments for not making Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas one of last night's top three. His 25-save effort in a 2-0 win (LUCIC!) over the New Jersey Devils came on a night that featured five shutouts around the NHL; maybe it was lost in that shuffle.

But one moment that deserves its moment of glory was this Thomas robbery of Patrik Elias on a two-on-one in a scoreless game. One of the best odd-man rush saves in recent memory:

Hub Hockey believes we've just witnessed the save of the year thus far. Fact is that it may not even be the best stick-save of the year; depending on if you count Carey Price's preseason stunner as part of the "year," and if you believe the Montreal Canadiens goalie did in fact prevent a goal against the Detroit Red Wings.

Thomas was strong behind a very, very solid game of positional defense by Claude Julien's Bruins. If it was a chess match between two good teams, then it was like watching speed chess -- the game at The Rock had playoff intensity.

He's now second in the NHL in GAA (2.04), save percentage (.935) and is 14-3-3 on the season. But the number to keep watching is the first column: games played. Thomas has appeared in 20 games; 18 other goalies have played that or more. Manny Fernandez, his able backup, has appeared in 15 games.

A quick glance through recent Vezina Trophy history suggests 67 games as the lowest total for any winner. (Dominik Hasek won with 64 in 1998-99 ... but that was Hasek.) Voters like a workhorse, and right now goalies like Niklas Backstrom, Ryan Miller and Henrik Lundqvist are on pace for a much higher games-played total than Thomas.

There are other considerations for Thomas's Vezina candidacy; has Marty Brodeur finally made the world safe for goalies that play on "positional defensive" teams, for example?

But at the very least, Thomas gave himself one hell of a clip in his "For Your Consideration" highlight reel to the voters.

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