Tim Thomas has been rather insane in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. The Boston Bruins goaltender has put his team in a position to win every single game in the series, allowing only six goals in five games so far in the series.
In a word, he's been incredible, and as a result, it seems as though he's going to be the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP regardless of whether or not he becomes a Stanley Cup champion. But is he truly the Most Valuable Player in the series, let alone the postseason?
Think of it this way: Thomas was fantastic in Games 1, 2 and 5, but the Bruins still didn't show up enough to earn victories. He was good enough to let his team win, but ultimately in those games, he was out-dueled by Roberto Luongo. In the two games the Bruins have won so far in the series, Thomas wasn't the difference either. They were blowout wins.
And then when you take into consideration Thomas' poor play in the Eastern Conference Finals, in which he allowed 21 goals in seven games, it becomes harder to think that he's the best player in this postseason.
Of course, on the flip side it's tough to make an argument for any other player. Luongo allowed eight goals in a game and has been pulled twice in the postseason, the Sedin's have been invisible in the Finals and Zdeno Chara has been good, but not great.
It's hard to pick one guy out of the crowd as a dominant force in these Finals and these playoffs, but it's likely going to be the goalie with the acrobatic, jaw-dropping stuff that wins the Conn Smythe Trophy regardless of whether or not he's truly the Most Valuable Player in the 2011 NHL postseason.
The Stanley Cup Finals are ongoing, as the Vancouver Canucks battle the Boston Bruins. Stick with this StoryStream for complete coverage of Game 6. For coverage on the Finals, stick with our Stanley Cup Finals hub, our Canucks blog, Nucks Misconduct, and our Bruins blog, Stanley Cup of Chowder.