Similar paths for Price and Thomas
Northeast netminders overcome setbacks for big starts this season
Tim Thomas has spent much of his career being doubted by his critics and struggling to earn respect for his play. Carey Price arrived in the NHL as a can't-miss prospect, drafted in the first round by a storied organization that has since given him every chance to succeed. What do these two goaltenders with widely divergent career paths have in common? They are both having a season of redemption in 2010-11.
It is not often that a Vezina winner finds himself relegated to a backup role less than a year after winning the trophy, but that is the situation Thomas found himself in last season when Tuukka Rask took over the top spot in Boston. After leading the league in goals-against average and save percentage during the regular season, the Finnish rookie played every minute of playoff action for Boston, leaving Thomas stewing on the bench.
Similarly, Jaroslav Halak's hot play in Montreal meant that Price received fewer and fewer starting assignments in Montreal as the season wore on. Like Thomas, Price had to sit and watch most of the playoffs as Halak starred in two upset series victories over Washington and Pittsburgh before the clock struck midnight for the overachieving Canadiens against Philadelphia.
Entering 2010-11, both goalies appeared to be an afterthought, but a closer look shows that we should have seen these rebounds coming.
To read more about Tim Thomas and Carey Price, which one could win the Vezina and why they are playing so well this year, you must be an ESPN Insider.
NHL Insider Content
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Prospectus: Rating B's, Canucks' depth
CapGeek: Bs, Canucks provide cap blueprints Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas takes the lead
Greenberg: Projecting Tyler Seguin
Greenberg: Lapierre is Canucks' MVP
Prospectus: Special teams aren't that key
Conn Smythe Watch: Kesler's charge
Joyce: Sharks stars lack 'it'
Greenberg: Best Gs vs. the best shots
Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas rises
Button: Philly's crisis of crease confidence
Greenberg: Can blocks carry Bolts to Cup?
Prospectus: Ranking Caps' playoff failure
Prospectus: Top playoff rooks since 1998
Conn Smythe Watch: Roloson No. 1
Prospectus: Datsyuk remains underrated
Conn Smythe Watch: Neuvirth shines
Greenberg: Best D pairs vs. Alex Ovechkin
Prospectus: Thomas doesn't give B's big edge
Prospectus: Playoff team depth rankings
Cooper: Preds try to ditch Rd. 1 jinx
Prospectus: Team-by-team odds to win the Cup
Prospectus: Ranking the first-round netminders
Prospectus: These Sharks built to last
Prospectus: Puck luck could pluck Ducks
Cooper: Why playoff hockey is so different
Team Scouting Reports
How to beat the Boston Bruins
How to beat the Philadelphia Flyers
How to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins
How to beat the Washington Capitals
How to beat the Anaheim Ducks
How to beat the Detroit Red Wings
How to beat the San Jose Sharks
How to beat the Vancouver Canucks
May 11: Why Wings may soon fall off
April 28: Strome surges in Mock Draft 2.0
April 13: Nashville tries to overcome history
April 11: D. Sedin tops final player rankings
April 7: Coaches feeling the hot seat
April 6: How Caps' draft strategy has worked
March 30: Can Flyers win Cup with Bobrovsky?
March 9: Re-ranking Top 50 draft prospects
Feb. 28: Traded prospect evals
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the West
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the East
Feb. 17: Worst. Trades. Ever.
Feb. 17: NHL Mock Draft 1.0
NHL Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
NHL Experts Blog
Daily ice shavings of insight
NHL Draft Blog
A look towards June 2011