EDMONTON, Alberta | Tomas Vokoun was calm and relaxed again Thursday. It doesn’t matter that this is a game day. He’ll get his seventh straight start at night when the Capitals take on the Edmonton Oilers.
Vokoun is 6-0-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.
“I’m definitely enjoying the successes [we’ve had]. The only thing you’ve got to be careful [about is] it doesn’t mean anything going forward,” Vokoun said Wednesday. “I’m definitely glad we got off to good start and things have been a lot easier around. Obviously we have a lot more fun when things are going well.”
The Caps are having fun in part because Vokoun has been so good. Goaltending coach Dave Prior has praised his practice habits and he has been so good as to earn another start in Edmonton despite Michal Neuvirth seemingly being ready to play.
“[Vokoun has] been great so far,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We’re only talking seven games, but everything we’ve asked of him he’s done. He had a little blip in the first game, but since then arguably he’s stolen two or three games for us. Without good goaltending we wouldn’t have won, and he was there for us.”
Neuvirth spent a lot of extra time on the ice at Rexall Place Thursday afternoon working with the assistant coaches and healthy scratch D.J. King. On Wednesday he said he was inching closer to being 100 percent as he works back from a bruised right heel.
“I’m doing pretty good. It’s getting close to it,” Neuvirth said. “It’s getting better every day, and I’m happy with it.”
Thursday will be the first game since Oct. 10 - the day he got hurt - that Neuvirth will serve as the backup.