Tim Thomas and 10 Goalies Who Hold Their Team's Fate

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Tim Thomas and 10 Goalies Who Hold Their Team's Fate
Harry How/Getty Images
Without Tim Thomas' Conn Smythe-winning performance, the Bruins wouldn't have won the Stanley Cup in 2010-11

It isn't rocket science, and it isn't a secret. In order to win in the NHL, you need to have excellent goaltending. 

Especially in the playoffs, the goaltender is often the player best positioned to put together a playoff run.

Last season, Tim Thomas' 1.98 goals against average and .940 save percentage in the playoffs led the Boston Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship. Two years ago, Jaroslav Halak's stellar play was the main reason that the Montreal Canadiens were able to upset the top-seeded Washington Capitals and the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Depending on the make-up of the team, the goalie's role is different. He might have to just be solid in order to give his team a chance to win, or he might have to be the difference-maker more often than not for his team to have success.

Here are 10 goalies whose play will determine their team's success in 2011-12.

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