Capitals’ Vitek Vanecek Becoming NHL’s Rookie of the Month: “It Was Really Nice When They Told Me On The Ice…They Were Happy For Me”

On Tuesday, Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek spoke to the media following today’s practice and discussed being named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January and getting comfortable in the net recently.

“It’s really nice when I heard it,” Vanecek said on being named the league’s Rookie of the Month for January. The team cheered for Vanecek after head coach Peter Laviolette made the announcement.”It was really nice when they told me on the ice…I didn’t know that. They [were] happy for me…great teammates.”

Vanecek gave a personal message to MedStar Washington Hospital Center emergency room RN Mary “Dani” Dell’Isola, who was also named Rookie of the Month. She began her nursing career as a new graduate in February 2020, right at the onset of the pandemic. A regular attendee of Capitals games, Dell’Isola, is anticipating the day to return to Capital One Arena.

Before Monday’s 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins, Vanecek became the second rookie goaltender in franchise history to remain unbeaten in regulation in his first seven career games. Vanecek said he is starting to feel “more comfortable” getting the start in recent games.

He noted that he was “working really hard” during the summer. “[The] first couple of games [were] a little bit tough, but I get into game-shape and it’s feeling really good right now,” he said.

Vanecek said goaltender Craig Anderson has been helping the young netminder in his game, adding, “When he sees something in the game I can do [differently], he’ll try and help me.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, Della enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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