I touched briefly on why I thought the Caps goaltending could get them through a Cup run, and with Jose Theodore’s third shutout of the year I wanted to make his case why he should be the #1 goalie going into the playoffs.
My case is a simple one and is based on two points:
- Hockey is a skill sport, and once a player shows a particular skill it is his for the life of his career. Injuries and/or aging can dampen the skill, but the skill is still there.
- Jose Theodore has found a real life Hot Tub Time Machine.
Jose Theodore won the Hart and Vezina Trophy in 2001-02, was named to the 2nd NHL All Star team in that same year. He was an NHL All Star in 2002 and 2004 and won 10 in a row this year during the Caps 14 game win streak. Clearly, Jose has the skill to play goalie at a high level.
As for traveling back in time: No, I don’t really think Jose has a Hot Tub Time Machine or cranked up his DeLorean DMC-12 to 88MPH but I do think he is playing as close to his prime as is needed to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Looking at how he has played since December of 2009 in groups of 7 games, his stats are: 2.5 GAA, .913 SV%, .759 W% (which equals 5.3 wins out of every 7 games). The win percentage is actually conservative when you look at the Pythagorean expectation based on the 161 Goals For the Caps scored from December to the present against only 53 Goals Against allowed by Theodore, which is .888, or 6.2 wins out of every 7 games.
If we look at Jose since January in 7-game sets (which includes “The Streak”) his numbers improve: 2.5 GAA, .922 Sv % and a .871 Win percentage, or 6 out of every 7.
Looking at it graphically we can see that for the 7-game sets his Save % rises as his GAA declines
Also worth consideration: Not only does Theodore have a 11-0-2 record in his previous 13 appearances, he has stopped 53 of 54 shots since the Caps have returned from the Olympic Break.
There is no doubt Semyon Varlamov is the goalie of the future for the Caps, both long and short term, but Theo’s numbers give the Caps the best chance to go deep into the playoffs this year.
Now, has anyone seen my flux capacitor?