Over his career Tomas Vokoun has proved to the entire NHL that he is one of the best Veteran goaltenders out there today, and now he must lead a Capitals team as the star goaltender. The Florida Panthers this offseason, failed to resign Vokoun, but that ended up being a bit of a mistake money wise for Vokoun, being that the Panthers had offered him a pretty good deal, but like Nabokov last season, he thought he was worth more and in the end he did not get the deal he would have preferred. Vokoun signed a 1 year deal with the Panthers rivals, the Washington Capitals. Soon after the signing, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, named Vokoun the Capitals starter over young goaltender Michal Neuvirth who started for the Caps in the playoffs last season. The playoffs are something you would think Vokoun would have seen a lot of, being the great goaltender that he is, but he really has not. “Can he change that with the Capitals?”
The Capitals have seen their fair share of goaltending issue’s the last few seasons with the injury prone Varlomov and the collapse, by now Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore, as the presidents trophy team and then in the most recent season the collapse in round 2 vs. the Tampa Lightning. The Caps seem to be filled with star players at every roster spot except for one, the goaltender. “What can Vokoun bring to the Capitals this season that will change the goaltending ways of the past seasons?” He can bring Veteran leadership most of all, something the Caps have not really had in a goaltender in a while and I think right there, the Caps are already taking the right steps forward to fixing the goaltending issue of the past .
“What are the keys for Vokoun to have a great season this season?” Number 1, and this one may just be the most valuable for him, and that is to stay healthy. Near the end of the season with the Panthers Vokoun, was becoming a bit injury prone and I think that may be due to his age but, if the Caps want him at full form, they should start him around 50-54 games, they have a more than capable backup. The Caps did not just get Vokoun to see him sit on the bench during the playoffs while Neuvirth is in the net. The Caps got Vokoun to fix their goaltending issue’s, not to see him sit on the bench. Number 2, Be a leader, Vokoun may be one of the most Veteran players on that Capitals team, he has been around longer then Ovi has, even though Ovi wears the “C”. Vokoun needs to act like that “C” is on his jersey. The Caps need a leader to help them through the hardships of the playoffs and Vokoun might just be the person to do that for the Capitals. All in all, Vokoun may be the missing piece of that Capitals puzzle that everyone keeps trying to solve. He may be the change the Capitals need to make a long playoff run.