Sometimes, a goalie can be mad at himself after giving up two goals in a game. But Tuesday night was the opposite kind of deal for the Capitals’ Tomas Vokoun, who allowed four in a 5-4 comeback victory against the Anaheim Ducks.
Vokoun wasn’t upset with himself, and justifiably so. Anaheim’s goals came as a result of defensive miscues, mostly, and not because the 35-year-old was out of position or missed something he should have stopped.
“Those were pretty tough plays to do something with it,” Vokoun said. “Obviously it looks bad on the paper – 15 shots, four goals. But you know what, I really wouldn’t play the plays any differently.”
Vokoun has talked a lot about the adjustment to seeing fewer shots, but the Ducks presented a unique challenge by making their few-and-far-between chances count.
“Sometimes you get 40 shots and you don’t get as many chances,” he said. “Today it was maybe 15 shots but every shot was making you make decisions, passes back there and stuff like that. I’ll take the win.”
Vokoun is now 7-1-0 on the season with a 2.36 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. The record is most important to the veteran goalie, he said, and there wasn’t much concern that this victory dropped his save percentage.
“You can always fix your save percentage,” he noted.
The result was the key, yet again.
“We won the game and you know what, I didn’t come here to dwell on statistics,” Vokoun said. “I came here to win. You can always fix those. I’m not worried about those. When you play the right way, they always take care of themselves.”
Vokoun was involved in two big plays not involving saves or goals Tuesday. The first was a long, clearing pass from his zone down to Jonas Hiller. The hard-working line of Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich and Joel Ward turned it into a goal by Dennis Wideman.
“I was just trying to put it by their guy,” Vokoun said. “It was a crazy game.”
Later, Vokoun got his first penalty of the season by tripping reigning league MVP Corey Perry, who was alone in open ice streaking down the right wing.
The Caps’ veteran goalie owned up to it being a deserved penalty – and he still defended it.
“That’s a tripping. He would probably score if I didn’t trip him,” Vokoun said. “He’s coming down, fakes me out, I go down and I didn’t have a really good feel where my defenseman is. So I was afraid he was either going to go behind me from the short side or go around the net and put it in. so you do the best you can.
“I was trying to get the puck, but obviously in a way I got his feet and took his feet out, too.”