Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas has lasted about as long as a teenager on prom night in two of his first three games since returning to the NHL after a one-year sabbatical.
Thomas pulled himself from the game Tuesday night after allowing two goals to the previously winless Flyers in the first 7:21. The Panthers later said it was a slight groin pull that caused him to skate to the locker room.
The former Conn Smythe winner’s previous short start was performance-related. Thomas allowed five goals on 28 shots in a disastrous 7-0 loss to the Blues on Saturday night. Given what we now know, maybe he had some tightness in that game and made matters worse by playing on Tuesday.
That Thomas would get injured this early into the season is no shocker. He’s 39, and as we mentioned before he did not play at all last year. It’s also likely that he spent most of that time stockpiling doomsday supplies rather than staying in playing shape. Or maybe his groin was just embarrassed that a former Conn Smythe winner is wearing a beer-league goalie mask.
(On a sidenote, isn’t John Vanbiesbrouck’s number something the Panthers should have retired by now, seeing that he is the only player to ever lead the franchise to relevance? Just a thought).