Do you remember last year when Tim Thomas was finished? Untradeable? How things have changed! Thanks to Thomas, Boston has, by far, the highest 5-on-5 save percentage in the league (942), which is six points higher than the high over the last four seasons, also Boston (2008-09. Even though Boston might have the worst defense in the league, they've allowed fewer goals than anyone in the league!
Thomas' numbers are well above his six-year averages, and at 5-on-5, he's actually further ahead this year than he was behind last year:
I think that Tim Thomas established his talent over six years; there's no reason to think that at age 36, he's figured out something new. Let's see what would have happened if things had things unfolded at Thomas' 50th percentile:
Thomas is 26 goals better than his own personal average this season. Boston wouldn't have lost all of those goals had Thomas played at that level, but it's not inconceivable that they would be 9th in the East today. Regardless of where they'd be in that alternate universe, they are slated for some serious regression over the rest of the season.