What made it an odd game for Tomas Vokoun is that, for long periods of time, he was really good. Against the Islanders Saturday night, the Capitals goaltender made a whole lot of saves – and many good ones – but he also allowed four, three of them that he called “bad goals.”
“It was a bad game. There’s no denying of that,” he said. “It’s going to happen.”
But the 35-year-old veteran has been through the wringer enough times to know a performance like that won’t define his season. Vokoun is 7-2-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. He has allowed 11 goals in his past three starts but doesn’t approach practice any differently after a game like Saturday.
“You know what went wrong, what you did wrong, and you work on things in practice. In this business, it’s how you can bounce back,” Vokoun said. “You don’t want it to be two, three bad games in a row. You know what, it happens and it’s nothing you wish for, but you kind of deal with it.”
Michal Neuvirth figures to get the start Tuesday night agains the Dallas Stars. Neuvirth sparkled in Friday’s 5-1 win at the Carolina Hurricanes and could probably use another game to get back up to speed.
As for Vokoun, he’s just shaking off an off-night.
“As a goalie it’s a little bit tougher because it shows so much – just like you can make a positive difference, you can make a negative one, too. It’s a little bit tougher to swallow than maybe some guy who makes a mistake during the game and it doesn’t cost us or something,” he said. “It’s one game, so I’m not going to be worried about one game.”
He’ll likely get the chance to put that game well behind him either Friday or Saturday, as the Caps play a home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils.