Many, many fans say Dublin goalie Tim Thomas is too old. After watching him steal a game from Copenhagen on Wednesday, we have to ask: Too old for what? Coloring books? Dora the Explorer? Because he sure has shown he still has the skills for the EURO League against the world’s best players.
On Wednesday, Copenhagen peppered the 40-year-old with 53 shots, but he stopped all of them except for two Shea Weber cannon blasts, and kept his team within striking distance. The Fighting Irish responded to his inspirational dropping, flopping and stopping by tying the game 2-2 late in the third period and then surging ahead of the Tridents on an Evander Kane goal with 4:35 to play. Kane added an empty-netter to make the final score 4-2.
The 51-save performance came 24 hours after Thomas shut out Milan with 21 saves. The game before that, Thomas was named the first star in a 3-2 shootout win over Bratislava, when he stopped 28 Eagle shots and two of three shootout attempts.
Dublin is tied at the top of the Ahearne Division with league’s new darlings – The Belfast Giants – whose combined roster age doesn’t seem too much older than Thomas. The really strange thing about Thomas is that his save percentage has gotten better with age. So has his goals against average. As a 37-year-old with Dublin, he posted an 89.0 save percentage. That improved to 90.1 when he was 38, to 90.4 when he was 39, and through 12 games this season, it stands at 91.8. The only two goalies in the EURO with better save percentages are 32-year-old Henrik Lundqvist of Helsinki and 30-year-old Cam Ward of Athens. Thomas is in the final season of a $5.25 million contract.
Dublin skates in Oslo tonight riding a five-game win streak. Thomas has started the last four games, with 26-year-old backup Jonathan Bernier starting the win streak with a 5-4 win in Prague.