The Vezina Trophy should already be in Tim Thomas’ trophy room today. The Boston Bruins star goalie redefined goaltending in the NHL this year with solid performances that helped break Dominik Hasek’s previous .937 season save percentage record.
The NHL’s new goaltending record of best save percentage in a season is .938 set by Tim Thomas. Hasek’s mark was set in with the Buffalo Sabres in 1998-99, having stood for 12 years. That season, 12 years ago, the Sabres went on to lose in the Stanley Cup finals, which could spell either success or failure for the Bruins during the 2010-2011 playoffs.
As an easy shoe-in for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s goaltender who is “adjudged to be the best at this position,” Thomas can expect to be a two-time Vezina winner. He won it previously after leading the NHL with an impressive .933 save percentage and 2.10 goals-against average in the 2008-2009 season. His goals-against average this year is a solid 2.00, but remained under 2.00 for much of the season as the Bruins had ups and downs.
Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne are finishing the season as the two runner ups to Thomas. Luongo has a .928 save percentage and 2.11 goals-against average while Rinne has a .930 save percentage and 2.12 goals-against average. All three finish up with personal records in the goals-against average department and Thomas and Rinne also posted the best save percentages of their respective careers. Luongo however has 38 wins, the most of any goaltender in the NHL this season.