The Washington Capitals haven't wasted any time coming out of the gate strongly in the 2011-12 season. They're 7-0 (just the fifth team
to do so, but neither of the previous four have won the Stanley Cup). Of course, it still matters more what they do in April, May (and maybe June) than October, but that shouldn't take away from the performance of new goalie Tomas Vokoun.
"He was great," Coach Bruce Boudreau said of the goalie's play in last night's 7-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. "He's been great ever since the 15-minute mark of the second game. He's been outstanding."
In six games so far, Vokoun is undefeated with a 1.80 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. Both would be career bests for the Czech goaltender.
"Vokoun made saves and gave their guys an opportunity and our guy [had] a tough time," Wings Coach Mike Babcock said last night.
How often has Boudreau come up with a quote similar to Babcock's during his tenure? The bottom line is that Vokoun gives the Caps a player who can steal a game, and that's something that's essentially to winning a Stanley Cup.
Meanwhile, the Caps' offense is leading the league with 4.14 goals per game and giving up just two (good for seventh). The power play is back on top of the league at 29.6 percent, while the penalty kill has been pedestrian at 81.8 (18th). This is certainly the balance Boudreau is seeking, although the PK needs some TLC -- and the power play will come back to earth.
All in all, the Caps are doing a lot right, but still have room for improvement. There still are lulls during games and their PK must improve. But, that being said, you can't ask more than winning ever game -- even if it's only October.