Bruins goalie Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most outstanding player in the Stanley Cup playoffs as he led the Bruins to their first Cup win since 1972.
He became the 15th netminder to win the Con Smythe, as he posted a 2.06 goals against average and .937 save percentage.
Following hip surgery last summer and facing an uncertain role heading into the 2010-11 season, Thomas beat out Tuukka Rask for the starting job and broke the NHL single-season record for save percentage with a .938 clip and carried the Bruins through the playoffs.
In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning, Thomas made one of the best saves of his career. After a slap shot from the blue line missed the net wide left, Tampa Bay’s Steve Downie scooped up the puck after it ricocheted off the rear boards and wristed it just inside the left pipe. Thomas, recovering from the slap shot, reached his stick out and blocked the puck from crossing the red line. It preserved a 2-1 third-period lead and an eventual 3-1 win.
After a penalty-less Eastern Conference finals Game 7 shutout by Thomas, he blanked the Canucks in Games 4 and 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Thomas made his debut with the Bruins in 2002-03, only playing four games, and in 2005-06 filled in as a backup for injured goalies Andrew Raycroft and Hannu Toivonen. Thomas earned the Bruins’ 7th Player Award that year, as voted by the fans, and earned a three-year deal with Boston.
Thomas started 2006-07 as a backup, but after Toivonen’s early struggles Thomas quickly became the starter and played 66 games, the most he’s played in any season.
The last Bruin to win the Conn Smythe was Bobby Orr, who won it twice (1969-70, 1971-72). He is one of six players to win the award at least twice.