Sometimes they leave you shaking your head wondering if the organization you root for just made a mistake. 

Tomas Vokoun, who signed with the Capitals for $1.5 million this offseason, is the former. 

Granted, his debut against the Tampa Bay Lightning was not ideal. He gave up five goals on the night, one of which was deflected off Mike Green. But Vokoun is a notoriously slow starter. 

Here are his career splits, courtesy of

October 79 0.911 2.77
November 105 0.917 2.53
December 99 0.916 2.59
January 115 0.919 2.46
February 97 0.919 2.53
March 114 0.915 2.60
April 24 0.923 2.31
Career 633 0.917 2.56

October has always been his worst month, and that was compounded recently by Florida's anemic offense. 

Among the 20 netminders with at least 10,000 minutes played these past four years, just one has had a better save percentage (Tim Thomas, .928) and only half posted a better goals against average. None had a worse winning percentage. 

The reason is simple: goal support. 

Florida managed merely 2.33 goals in support of Vokoun's starts, which is part of the reason last night marked the first time in his career he won a game in which he gave up five goals

Michal Neuvirth is a solid netminder, but Tomas Vokoun is an elite one. He was simply the victim of some less-than-stellar teams in front of him. That changed when he hit the ice on Monday night, and by the end of the season we'll look back and laugh how everyone else thought it was time to panic way back in October.

Follow Neil on Twitter: @ngreenberg.