Anton Khudobin has channeled his former Boston Bruins teammate Tim Thomas and carried the underdog Dallas Stars into their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years. Stars and former Bruins forward Tyler Seguin had a front row seat when the 37-year-old Thomas rescripted the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs on a game-by-game basis with one of the best postseason goalie performances ever that carried the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup in 39 years.
“He reminds me of a guy named Tim Thomas a little bit,” Seguin said after the 35-yeart-old Khudobin made 24 saves in a 3-2 overtime win for the Stars over the heavily favored Vegas Golden Knights Monday that clinched the Western Conference Final in five games.
When the Stars entered the Western Conference bubble as a round robin team in late July, they were +1200 to win the Stanley Cup and Khudobin was the backup to then starting goalie Ben Bishop. Now, thanks in large part to Anton Khudobin, the Stars enter the Cup Final at +150 on Stanley Cup odds via SportsBettingDime.com. With the win Monday Khudobin went 4-1 with an eye-popping .950 save percentage and a 1.69 GAA. The former Bruins back-up is now 12-6 with a 2.62 GAA and .920 save percentage in the playoffs after going 16-8-4 with a league-leading 2.22 GAA and .930 save percentage, third best in the 2019-20 NHL regular season.
Like Seguin, NBC ‘Between The Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire sees plenty of Thomas in Anton Khudobin as well.
“I get the [Dominik] Hasek comparisons because of the style but I see so much Timmy Thomas in him,” McGuire said Tuesday on TSN 1200 in Ottawa. “He’s a battler like Thomas was because he gets out there and gets physical when he challenges the shooter. He’s going to come right at you and he loves doing it. That’s how Thomas was in 2011 and like that, this is one of the greatest runs by a goalie I’ve seen.”
Can Anton Khudobin finish the Cinderella story like Thomas did with the Bruins in 2011 when he went 16-9 with a 1.98 GAA and .950 save percentage to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy? That’s going to be tough but given the fact he just almost single-handedly knocked off two favored Cup contenders in the Colorado Avalanche and the Knights, he’s well worth the value at +2300 to win the Conn Smythe if you need some extra cash!