On The Rebound: Capitals Netminder’s Rebound Control Among Best In League So Far

Photo: Steven Ryan / NHLI via Getty Images

Rebound attempts is one of the lesser utilized netminder metrics when analyzing a goaltender’s level of play but is just as important as the mainstream goaltender statistics typically used. How a goaltender deflects a shot is critical in limiting follow-up high-danger shots attempts.

After nine games played so far this season, Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov have been among the league’s best at limiting rebound attempts by the opposing team. Something that hasn’t always been the case.

Vitek Vanecek

Vitek Vanecek, who has had issues with leaving juicy rebounds in the past, has been excellent so far this season. At 5-on-5, Vanecek has given up just one rebound attempt in six games played so far this season, which is second best in the league among netminders with 100+ minutes played (56 netminders). Only Dustin Tokarski of Buffalo has given up fewer (0) in just three games played. Vanecek is 10th in the league in all situations, giving up just five rebound attempts so far this season. That’s a marked improvement for Vanecek, and likely something he has been working on since last season.

Ilya Samsonov

Samsonov is not far behind Vanecek. He has given up just six rebound attempts at even strength, which is 8th best in the league among netminders with 100+ minutes (56 goaltenders). Samsonov has given up just seven rebound attempts in all situations, which is 14th best among all netminders in the league with 100 minutes played (56 goaltenders).

On The Rise

The Capitals remain the league’s best team at suppressing shots, averaging just 25.8 shots on goal per game. That coupled with improved rebound control and limiting rebound attempts is a major step in the positive direction for the Capitals and their overall defense so far this season.

On a related note, Vanecek is also among the best netminders in the Metropolitan Division with regards to expected goals – goals allowed so far this season. He has the 4th best expected goals – goals allowed differential (xGA-GA), behind Frederick Andersen, who has been on fire so far this season, Igor Shesterkin and Elvis Merzlikins. He has the 8th best save percentage among 16 goaltenders who have played so far this season in the Metro. [Click to enlarge]

Data courtesy of Natiral Stat Trick

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to On The Rebound: Capitals Netminder’s Rebound Control Among Best In League So Far

  1. Anonymous says:

    Definitely some signs of improving their games. I believe Vanecek and Samsonov combined now have just 85 games experience (+\-), so still learning the ropes.

  2. DC Scappeli says:

    interesting….the eye test for me shows that Vani is re-directing more pucks to the corners this season, I think? I did see where he left a BIG juicy one right in the high slot area that made me wince. Can’t remember which game though, but it’s far less than last season. Still, good that he and Sammy are improving and only going to get better!

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