This season, new Washington Capitals netminder Tomas Vokoun will have the best chance of his career when it comes to winning a Stanley Cup.
Vokoun has spent the last four seasons playoffless with the Florida Panthers despite putting up solid numbers. In his four years in Florida, Vokoun's goals-against average was between 2.49 and 2.68, while his save percentage was between .919 and .926. Additionally, he posted between 4 and 7 shutouts a season. Put simply, he was one of the league's more steady goaltenders despite playing on a bad team.
With all of that said, however, there was not too much pressure on the 35-year-old netminder while with the Panthers' organization. Going into each season, it was pretty much known that despite whatever solid performance Vokoun put up during the regular season, it still would not be enough to get the Panthers into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Now that Vokoun is a Capital, expectations will more than just change for the 12-year NHL veteran. Not only have the Capitals have been a playoff club for the past four seasons, but they have won the division in each of those years. Despite being at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, the team has not been able to win when it matters most.
Caps general manager George McPhee signed Vokoun to do just that. Goaltending has not been viewed as a strength in Washington in recent years. Jose Theodore, Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Cristobal Huet were all good enough to hold down the fort in the regular season, but never stepped up come playoff time.
Vokoun is a goaltender that knows how to stop pucks, has some playoff experience from his Nashville days and one that has been chomping at the bit to show that he is a big-game goaltender and that he has what it takes to win it all. That chance is right around the corner.
The question is, will Vokoun be up to the task?
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