Vokoun explains decision to join the Caps

 My belief is this team’s got a better chance to win than Detroit does and they showed a lot more interest. 

 They’re comparable teams, but Detroit has won the Stanley Cup three times and Washington has never won it.  I think that’s a lot better challenge for me and for the teamto do something special.

File that under things you’d be lying about if you ever thought those words would be uttered….well the first part at least.  The Capitals certainly were justified to show as much interest as they wanted considering the pressure that continues to fall on them each and every season.  But to say the Capitals have a better chance to win the Cup then the mighty Detroit Red Wings?  I’ll certainly take it.  The funny part is it may actually be true; at least on paper.  The Capitals added a bit of sandpaper to their lineup; something they so desperately have missed in previous years.  But without question, the most important move of the offseason was locking up an elite NHL goaltender for what amounts to pennies; a paltry $1.5 million for one season.

The Detroit Red Wings have been an elite NHL team for the better part of the last 15 years.  The Capitals have choked and gagged their way out of the playoffs the past four years despite winning their division in each of those years and the Eastern Conference the last two.  It is my guess that the majority of hockey fans and the media that cover the NHL will likely disagree with Vokoun; not because the Caps don’t have the better personnel (they arguably do), but because of the team’s history under Boudreau.  It’s one of those situations where you won’t believe it until you see it. 

You also have to be intrigued by Vokoun’s apparent willingness to except the challenge of being the first goalie to possibly win a Cup for the Capitals.  However the quotes appear to contradict each other saying its a bigger challenge for him to win the Cup in D.C. despite the Caps having the better chance to win the Cup.  But I won’t split hairs.  It is clear the guy has one thing on his mind and that is Stanley Cup.  The 35 year old netminder is certainly on the back side of his career, however his performance on the ice certainly doesn’t indicate that.  In addition, he will act a mentor to fellow Czech netminder Michal Neuvirth who still remains the Caps’ future number one goalie. 

But of course there is the flip side.  Vokoun certainly appears to be ready to take this team to the promised land.  But joining a team embattled with history of disappointment, additional pressure will be placed on Vokoun.  Only time will tell as the whether he will be able to deliver.  But clearly the consensus in DC is that Caps fans will happily wager their team’s chances on Vokoun.

It should also be noted that Vokoun’s decision to join the Capitals extended beyond the ice.  Vokoun made it known that his family would not be joining him in Washington DC permanently.  With the deal just being a one year contract, this makes some sense.  However being away from one’s family over the course of an NHL season is no situation to envy.  It will certainly be tough for Vokoun.  Vokoun went on to cite Detroit’s travel schedule as influencing his decision as it would be more difficult for his family to visit him in Detroit.  That’s interesting due to Detroit’s desire to be in the Eastern Conference citing the fact that they have the worst travel schedule in the NHL.

Whatever the reason or reason may be, Caps fans are certainly happy V0koun picked Washington.



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About the Author: Jeremy is a life time hockey fan currently living in Washington DC. Jeremy also runs a Capitals blog called The Nation's Capitals where he frequently posts blogs about the state of the Caps. His other interests include music and politics. Jeremy has a degree in Political Science. Being from DC, politics kind of comes with the territory.

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