When you look at the goaltenders competing in the Stanley Cup Finals, you know there will be some game-stealing saves. Tim Thomas of the Bruins is the perennial favourite to win the Vezina, and Roberto Luongo has looked more than solid in these playoffs and seems more relaxed in the crease since relinquishing the captain's "C" last year.
So far in the playoffs, both of these goaltenders have been a main story for their respective teams and have been relatively even through three rounds. Both goalies boast a 2.29 GAA, two shutouts and a 12-6 record. Thomas has a slight edge in the save percentage category with 0.929, while Luongo sits at 0.922.
You saw in the third round with Tampa Bay that Thomas is capable of both stealing a game and getting blown out of the water; yet, the Bruins have held true with their starting goaltender through the good and the bad, and with a confident Tim Thomas coming off a shutout in the biggest game (to date) in his career, the Canucks will need to crack him early or else it will be a long series.
In Luongo's case, he has had plenty of skeptics in recent years on whether or not he could carry the Canucks to a Stanley Cup after previous playoff exits, but this year seems a little different. As I mentioned, he is more relaxed in the crease after giving up his captain's duties and has been focused on one goal: to win a championship.
A year ago, he backstopped Canada and brought home an Olympic gold medal in Vancouver, so we know he can win the high pressure games when called upon. But this is a new beast: This is the Stanley Cup. Can he out duel Tim Thomas? We will have to see.