- Boise business entices customers to come break stuff — ‘recreational destruction’
- Fired Yahoo exec’s $60 million golden parachute may be a record
- Arkansas gynecologist snapped nude photos of patients, police say
- Anthony Weiner on his current sexting habits: ‘None of your business’
- Producers eye Capitol Hill for latest reality TV hit
- No selfie awareness: Obama, Biden mug for Instagram as Ukraine implodes
- Putin to Snowden: We don’t collect droves of data on everyone like the U.S.
- Clemson football’s new opponent: Atheists upset with player prayer, Bible study
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election launch party will be ‘history in the making,’ brother says
- Louisiana group hits back at Sen. Mary Landrieu campaign ad with ‘Actress Mary’ spot
Tomas Vokoun languished on losing teams, but Caps give him chance to win it all
Tomas Vokoun is not a loser.
He has lost 267 games during his NHL career, fourth-most among active goaltenders - but he’s also fourth in save percentage and fifth in goals-against average.
Playing with the expansion Nashville Predators and then the lowly Florida Panthers, Vokoun was the proof that bad things can happen to a good goalie.
Even the games he won took a toll on the 35-year-old.
“Obviously, it’s demanding. Every little mistake gets magnified because that can decide the game,” Vokoun said. “If you’re looking at scoring an average of two goals a game, you can only give up two. It was hard playing that way.”
And while it wasn’t Vokoun’s first choice to sign a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, he’s with the Washington Capitals now and has a chance to not only put losing behind him but also capture a Stanley Cup with his career winding down.
“I think everybody who plays NHL — that’s their goal. Obviously for various reasons, I didn’t have the chance very often in my career,” he said. “I would say this is the first time, legitimately, that I’m on a team that is considered one of the top teams.”
‘You give up that goal and we lost’
Predators coach Barry Trotz speaks in glowing terms about Vokoun, who was the franchise’s first star while the teams were pretty bad. Nashville missed the playoffs five times, and Vokoun lost 159 games (not counting overtime losses). He won 161.
“We were an expansion franchise and … the way to sort of get through the expansion phase and get to the competitive phase is win some hockey games,” Trotz said. “He gave us a chance to be successful - to take the first step.”
When he was traded to the Panthers, it didn’t get much better. He led the league in losses twice, and Florida finished in last place the past two seasons.
“Every mistake you make, people tell you, ‘You give up that goal and we lost,’ ” Vokoun said. “It’s kind of hard when every game is like that.”
Vokoun called it “tough” to constantly be on bottom-feeding teams. It didn’t matter that he posted impressive save percentages above .920 in each of the last three years.
“I’m a competitive person, and what was the toughest part about it — when you play professional sports, you hate to lose,” he said. “I did my share of it the last few years in Florida. That’s one of the reasons I decided I want to change scenery, and I didn’t sign an extension in Florida, because I didn’t think the team was going to be anywhere near close to where I want to be hockeywise.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.