Thomas Wins 2nd Vezina Trophy As NHL’s Best Goalie
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Tim Thomas has a second Vezina Trophy to go with his recent Stanley Cup title.
The Boston Bruins goalie earned top NHL honors on Wednesday after a stellar season that culminated in the championship.
Thomas set an NHL record for save percentage when he finished at .938, surpassing Dominik Hasek’s .937 set in the 1998-99 season. He also had a league-low 2.00 goals-against average and nine shutouts.
Those imposing figures lifted him over fellow Vezina finalists Roberto Luongo of the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne in voting by the league’s 40 general managers.
“First off I’d like to start out by congratulating Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne on fantastic seasons,” Thomas said when he took the stage, pumping Luongo’s tires a bit.
“I’d like to thank my teammates, who without, you can’t win the Vezina Trophy, goaltending is the most team-dependent position that there is in hockey,” said Thomas. “I’d like to thank my family and friends for their longtime, unwavering support through all of the ups and downs.”
“A little bit over a year ago, I had hip surgery,” he said. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to play at the level that I’d become accustomed to playing with ever again, and so I’d like to thank Dr. Bryan Kelly for doing the hip surgery and doing such a fantastic job.”
Rinne had 25 wins in 42 starts, ranking second in save percentage.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)