Top 10 Americans To Watch in 2011-2012

USA Hockey Magazine is counting down the top 10 Americans to watch in 2011-2012. In no particular order, this list features players and personnel from all different levels.

1. Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

HEIGHT: 5-11

Sept. 29 Ryan Callahan
Oct. 1
Tyler Biggs
Oct. 2
Dean Blais
Oct. 3
Seth Jones
Oct. 4
Knight, Decker
Oct. 5
Ron Wilson
Oct. 6
David Backes
Oct. 7
Rocco Grimaldi
Oct. 8
Zach Parise
Oct. 9
Tim Thomas

WEIGHT: 208

BORN: April 15, 1974

HOMETOWN: Flint, Michigan

LAST SEASON:  Won 35 games, posted a .938 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average for the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Tim Thomas won his second Vezina and first Conn Smythe Trophy en route to Boston’s Stanley Cup last season. He held a .938 save percentage – an NHL record – and also led the league with a 2.00 goals against average.

Right now, that means nothing to the Bruins coaching staff. From the Associated Press:

"We have two No. 1s," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Tuesday as the team met with the media two days before it opens the season and its title defense.

Julien said he will start the season with Thomas and Tuukka Rask sharing time as the starter, but the coach left open the possibility that one would run off with the job as Thomas did last season with a dominating performance that earned him honors as the playoff MVP and the NHL's top goaltender.

"There are two goalies on the team, and we don't think of ourselves as No. 1 and No. 2," Thomas said. "If the team's on a roll and both goalies are winning, obviously you play both goalies."

Maybe they're right. Maybe it's just a motivational ploy.

With much of Boston’s roster returning, expectations remain high. Thomas stopped 25 of 26 shots in the Bruins’ win over Tampa Bay Saturday night.

Regardless of the 37-year-old’s age, we often wonder how in the world anyone can move like that – especially on ice … with goalie pads. But then actually making the saves?

Just watch the video.

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