BOSTON -- The accolades keep coming for goalie Tim Thomas.
Following last year's Stanley Cup campaign, Thomas brought home both the Vezina Trophy for the NHL’s top goalie and the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the
Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Thomas can now add “All-Star starter” to his expanding list of accomplishments. After Thursday’s finally tally, Thomas easily topped all NHL goaltenders with 626,540 fan votes and will start in net on Jan. 29 in the fourth All-Star game of his career. In a distant second was the Maple Leafs’ James Reimer, who received 498,075 votes.
“It’s an honor, obviously, to be the No. 1 vote-getter for goalie,” said Thomas before Thursday’s night’s game. “Obviously it hasn’t always been that way, [but] I’ve been lucky enough to still have been on the three previous lists. This is a little bit different scenario, but I guess all I can say is I’m happy about it.”
Thomas played in three previous All-Star games in 2008, 2009, and 2011 and was the winning goaltender in all three, tying an NHL record. He owns a .940 save
percentage through 25 games this season, trailing only teammate Tuukka Rask, who led the NHL with a .945 save percentage in 13 starts (before Thursday).
"I think we've played exceptionally well for a long period of time this year," Thomas said. "Part of a goalie's stats are always reflected in their team. That's probably the single biggest factor in the stats."
Thomas is 14-2-0 in his last 16 starts in net, including a career-best 10-game win streak from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5.
“It’s an honor for him to be voted as a starter and it’s well deserved,” coach Claude Julien said. “Unless there’s a reason for him not to go, I’m very supportive of him going. It’s a thrill to be there. It’s enjoyable and we’ll find him rest in other places because we have that luxury of having a great goaltender in Tuukka [Rask] who can handle more games than what he’s given.”
Defenseman Andrew Ference concurred.
“It’s [well] deserved,” Ference said. “He obviously carry [his success] over from last year and just continues to be awesome.”