After the first two games of the quarterfinal round, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is sporting a .964 save percentage, having stopped 54 of the 56 shots he has faced. Last season’s Vezina and Conn Smythe winner, Thomas has already had a successful follow-up campaign, earning a 35-19-1 record during the regular season. He is the calm core of Boston’s defense and a reliable presence to backstop the league’s third best offense.
But Thomas’s composure came somewhat unspooled on Saturday night. After a whistle, he punched the previously concussed Nick Backstrom, who ended up scoring the game-winner in double overtime. While Thomas escaped without the match penalty recommended in rule 51.3 for goalies who use a blocker pad to punch a skater, he has not escaped the attention and ire of the Washington Capitals and their fans.
Games Three and Four of the series will be played in DC, and we just figured out precisely how we will troll.
By now you’ve heard about how Thomas’ snub of the Bruins’ visit to the White House coincided with a drop-off in his performance. It’s a tongue-in-cheek little narrative that doesn’t really adhere to the strict tenets of Responsible Statisticking, and it doesn’t actual imply any correlation.
I have decided to improve it.
The chart below plots Tim Thomas’s save percentage against President Obama’s approval rating over the course of the season. I used Rasmussen’s approval rating data and adjusted Obama’s approval to start at the same point as Thomas’s Sv% so we can track how they change relative to each other. Behold!
As you can clearly see, the hockey skills of Tim Thomas wane as President Obama becomes more beloved. The fearful symmetry of these lines proves– beyond any credible doubt– that the two are inextricably entangled. See how Obama’s ascent following The Snub mirrors the increasing sieve-ness of Thomas? And how the month of March saw Timmy dipping well below league average while Obama’s numbers were climbing like a pederastic crimefighter? Clearly, obviously, the two are related.
There you have it: irrefutable proof that Tim Thomas’s performance in net is tied to the popularity of the American President. And judging by TT’s abruptly ended interviews and Curiously Capitalized Facebook manifestos, Thomas knows this as well.
Still, we should probably remind him.
You know the drill. The big links below will download PDFs, which will fit a normal 8.5″ x 11″ page snugly. Please print out a trillion of these and camp out in front of the glass during warm-ups. Cut out the eyeholes on the mask, tie it in front of your ugly mug, and give Thomas a warm welcome to Washington, D.C., the most powerful city on Earth. This is your moment to shine.
RMNB’s Obama Posters and Mask for Tim Thomas
Because– despite the mewling whines of “Leave Timmy alone!” coming from the Boston area– we believe this is a winning strategy. An angry Tim Thomas gives up goals. A scored-on Tim Thomas gets angrier. And then he gives up even more goals. It’s a vicious cycle, and we just need to get it started.
Distraction is the name of the game. (Actually, the name of the game is still hockey but we don’t play hockey, so we’re gonna do this instead.) And if anyone asks you where the idea came from, tell ‘em it was ProHockeyTalk’s Joe Yerdon, a connoisseur of fine trolling.
A parting note: this ain’t about politics. Hockey is for everybody, and that includes tea-partying, Michael Cudlitz-looking fellas like Timmy. We’re just having a laugh and ribbing the other team. As long as we take a deep breath before speaking and keep our senses of humor in tact, I think we can do this with some degree of civility. Go team.
Posters and masks by Ian Oland.