Never Discount the Vezina

Updated: March 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm by Alexander Monaghan

Tim Thomas just won his second straight start since counterpart Tuukka Rask went down with a knee injury in a spirited effort over a hungry New York Islanders team.  The Olympian turned away a lofty 37 shots, including a full five minute penalty kill, en route to a 3-2 victory.

Why is this fantasy relevant?

First, a rested reigning Vezina winner just won two straight games yielding only four goals total.  Second, you can never trust a goalie out with a knee injury.

With the Bruins making mild changes to their defense, the sleeping giant Zdeno Chara should wake up and balance the rest of the defense.  This team if hungry enough could squeak their way into the playoffs.

Aside from Andrew Ference, the entire team appears healthy with contributions from David Krejci, Miroslav Satan and Marc Savard amongst others.

Although the team still mourns the offensive contributions from Phil Kessel,  Satan and a healthy Marco Sturm could in theory make up for the loss in production.  GM Peter Chiarelli received flack from his faithful following for a lack of moves, but his faith in his current forward corps could be just enough to win down the stretch.

Thomas faces about three less shots a game than he did last season, a statistic which should work in his favor.  For the short term he no longer looks over his shoulder for Rask, something which helped him when both Manny Fernandez and Andrew Raycroft fell out of favor in Beantown.

At 35-years-old, Thomas will not save your fantasy team but he could be available since Rask officially took over a few weeks back.  The Bruins go into Pittsburgh next and admittedly face a balanced schedule down the stretch but you could do much worse when looking a spot start or 3rd string netminder.

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