Panthers' Roster: Tomas Vokoun

Vokoun is as solid a goaltender as they come.

Vokoun has been one of the best goalies over the last dozen years. He’s in the top 10 in many goaltending categories, including saves and save percentage, but you would never know it because the team in front of him has had just as much trouble putting pucks in the net as those trying to score against him.

One thing that seems to be floated quite a bit among Florida Panthers fans is the differences between Tomas Vokoun and former Panthers superstar Roberto Luongo. It seems that most people feel that Vokoun is less of a goal tender and that the Panthers would be playing better with Luongo. I disagree however and would like to take a moment to explore the subject. Vokoun is one of the best goaltenders in the league since the lockout.

SV% Leaders Since Lockout

Player GP SA SV SV% SO SA/60
1 T. Vokoun 288 9184 8473 .923 26 32.74
2 N. Backstrom 220 6069 5576 .919 19 28.75
3 R. Luongo 334 9784 8977 .918 28 30.26
4 T. Thomas 254 7750 7115 .918 16 31.68
6 M. Brodeur 321 8869 8127 .916 33 27.83
7 R. Miller 302 8924 8171 .916 16 30.09
10 M. Kiprusoff 359 10066 9201 .914 27 28.62

This is while playing behind some of the worst defenses in terms of SA over the course of the last five seasons.

Vokoun obviously provides the offensively anemic Panthers a chance to win nearly every game he plays… he has been the backbone and the work horse for the Panther over the last few season and bring it all to the table when he plays …

“He is his worst enemy sometimes because he takes things so serious, and he analyzes everything,” goalie coach Robb Tallas said. “He wants perfection every night, and you see that in how he prepares…”

The problem is that Vokoun can’t score goals to win games for his team and that is why the AllStar goaltender has not has much of a taste of the playoffs in his career….

“You look at the goals, I don’t know what to say. It’s the same players over and over,” said Vokoun “we’re giving up 3-on-2s, guys are pinching up. It is what it is, but that’s not ‘playing for the team’ to me. They’re just hoping to get one goal. It’s tough. We’re in a bad situation and it’s been tough around here.”  (Miami Herald)

The veteran netminder is in the final year of his current contract (average cap hit: $5.7 million per season) and eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer…that means there will be teams knocking on his door should he not chose to resign with Panthers…and kind of like Frank said recently

“If you read between the lines you can easily see that Vokoun expects more support from his teammates and expects more from himself at the same time.  Having played in front of a Nashville team that struggled to score goals, their attention to defense wasn’t an issue.  However, we have heard Vokoun voice his opinion on this situation in the past, and he seems to only do it when it reaches a boiling point.  Are we at the end of the line now with him?  Will it matter what kind of money the Panthers throw at him?”

If the team can’t play in front of a stellar goalie like Vokoun wait until you see a year of Clemmer Mr. Knownothing… then tell me you don’t want to see a goalie of Vokoun’s caliber between the pipes…

I really hope Voky stays but I would understand if he wanted to leave to pursue a cup…hopefully it won’t come to that and we will see our Czech hero again next season.

Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

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