Jose Theodore's Rebound Control

It's generally considered a good thing for athletes to have "short memories." Have a bad game? Forget about it - you'll get 'em tomorrow. Have a great game? Forget about that, too - maybe tomorrow they'll get you.

Just as valuable is the ability to bounce back from poor outings before an off night becomes a cold streak, and nowhere in sports is that attribute more important than in a hockey goalie - back-to-back stinkers in the spring can mean a quick playoff exit.

To that end, one of the under-discussed positives that Jose Theodore has brought to the Caps since "The Turning Point" in Manhattan just before Christmas has been his ability to rebound from the occasional dud (whether the responsibility for the egg-laying was his, his teammates' or, more often, a combination of the two). Since December 23, Theodore is 6-1-0 with a 2.15 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in the games immediately following games in which he allowed four goals or more (and those six wins include tough opponents like Boston on the road and the Pens both at home and away), and, as noted earlier today, Since Bill Guerin's goal on Sunday (Pittsburgh's third on the afternoon), Jose has a 0.77 goals against average and .973 save percentage in just over 156 minutes of work.

For all but a few of the best goalies in the game, there are going to be bad nights. They happen. The key is to rebound from those games before they become more than relatively isolated incidents, and Jose Theodore has been fantastic at doing just that, which bodes well for the months - plural - ahead. As Brooks Laich put it:

"Jose's played fantastic for us since the All-Star break; he's really turned it on. He's adjusted, I think, to life in Washington and whatnot. We have no problems in net; we feel confident in front of him.... The one thing people don't understand is just how hungry he is. He wants to win; he wants to be the man. And I think we're starting to see that. He's doing it at the right time."

And there's hardly any time more right than the present... other than, perhaps, the not-to-distant future.

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