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The Noon Countdown: Vanecek Him Out

A look at a surprise rookie performance in net

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

21 - Number of days remaining until the start of the Capitals’ 2021-22 season. But it’s also...

...the number of wins earned by Vitek Vanecek in his rookie campaign, as he went from likely Hershey starter to the #1 guy on an NHL squad last season. That’s the third-most wins earned by a Caps’ rookie netminder in franchise history, trailing only Bob Mason (31 wins) and Michal Neuvirth (38) in that department.

Vanecek’s win percentage leads that trio with 21 wins in 37 games played (.568) compared to 31 in 60 for Mason (.517) and 38 in 70 for Neuvirth (.543).