Tim Thomas had an incredible season backstopping for the Boston Bruins while leading them to their first Stanley Cup Championship since 1972. Although Thomas has only been in the NHL for six seasons, could it be safe to say he is working on a Hall of Fame career. I say, the numbers don't lie. I have taken the time to sift through years of statistics and achievements compiled by some of the greatest goaltenders to ever play in the NHL, and who all happen to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The first netminder to cross my radar was a man by the name of Jacques Plante. He won six Stanley Cup Championships, won the Vezina seven times, had 437 regular season wins, which 82 of them came as shutouts. Plante ended his career with a 2.38 goals against average. His playoff stats boast 71 wins, with 14 shutouts and a 2.14 GAA. The only record Jacques holds is the most Vezina Trophies won. He played for 20 seasons.
This next goaltender is synonymous with goaltending. Patrick Roy won four Stanley Cup championships. During those championship runs, Roy also racked up three Conn Smythe Awards. Roy has won the Vezina three times and the William Jennings five times. Throughout his regular season career he won 551 games. Out of those 551 wins, 66 of them were shutouts and finished with a 2.54 GAA. Patrick also had a record setting playoff career with 151 wins and 23 shutouts. His three Conn Smythe awards also happens to be a record. He played in the NHL for 18 seasons.
Terry Sawchuk brought four Stanley Cup Championships to Detroit. Sawchuk won the Vezina four times and won the Calder Memorial once. He compiled 447 wins with 103 shutouts and a 2.51 GAA. In the playoffs he had 54 wins with 12 shutouts and a 2.54 goals against average. Terry holds the NHL record for most career ties with 172. He also held the record for shutouts with 103 for 39 years until Martin Brodeur broke it in 2009. He played 21 seasons in the NHL.
Bernie Parent won two Stanley Cups. He won two Conn Smythe's and also won two Vezina's. Parent won the Conn Smythe, Vezina, and Stanley Cup all in the same year, twice. He had 271 regular season wins, 54 shutouts and a 2.55 GAA. While in the playoffs, Bernie had 38 wins, six shutouts and a 2.43 GAA. Parent played in the NHL for 13 seasons.
After reading through the awards and achievements of these four great goaltenders who all played 13 seasons or more in the NHL, I have no doubts that Tim Thomas will one day be giving an induction speech. When comparing awards, Thomas is right there in the thick of it. He has won one Stanley Cup, one Conn Smythe and two Vezina's. He is just the second hockey player to win the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe, and the Vezina all in the same year and the second American born player to win the Conn Smythe.
When comparing records, he holds some impressive ones. Thomas holds the record of 798 playoff saves. He holds the record for most saves in a Stanley Cup Final with 238. The most impressive record is a regular season save percentage of .938%. In Thomas' six seasons as a goalie in the NHL his GAA is a mere 2.50, which tops three out the four goaltenders mentioned above.
Thomas has 161 regular season victories with 26 shutouts. He has 26 playoff victories with five shutouts and a 2.06 GAA. Again, this is only with six seasons experience. I believe when Thomas has played at least 13 seasons (which is the amount Bernie Parent played) his awards and achievements won't only stand up, they will rival the best of them.