Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has been dynamite lately, starting 11 straight games from February 9 to March 7. During that stretch, Holtby had three shutouts and only had a save percentage under .900 in two games. His play helped the Capitals get out of dead last and back within striking distance of the playoffs.

Against the Rangers on Sunday, however, Holtby struggled, giving up three goals on 22 shots. On New York’s first goal, he caught out of position, allowing Derek Stepan to bank the puck off his pads from behind the goal line. After giving up two more goals in the second, Head Coach Adam Oates had enough and decided to give Holtby the hook for Michal Neuvirth, who hadn’t played since February 7.

Braden wasn’t too happy about his benching or his performance.

Hide yo kids. Hide yo wife. (Video via @WashCapsRock)

Instead of taking a seat on the bench, Holtby went to the locker room. Making his way down the tunnel, the 23-year-old Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native slammed his stick against the wall. The second whack bent a Verizon Center pipe.

He is looking more and more like Olie Kolzig every day.


That Verizon Center pipe was sent to the quiet room. (Photo credit: @krallas)

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  • RSP5150

    what if the power went out just after lol. Could have helped jump start the game, just like the Super Bowl

  • Lulu

    He went all Tuuka Rask on it! This is what happens when you have him out for long game streaks. Look at his first year in the playoffs – need I say any more?

  • Yv

    I hope that he went like this b/c of his game, not b/c AO pulled him out. He needs to be consistent every game and completely eliminate giving easy goals.

  • What was he supposed to do when Ovi screened him? And the next goal was a powerplay goal. Yes, the 1st goal was obviously his fault for not hugging the post, but he wasn’t that bad. Oates needs to stop pulling him halfway through the game when really, it isn’t necessary. Its not like we’re getting blown out.

  • The Caps owe so much to this guy. I think he was disappointed with himself. He’s the starter no matter what in my view. It’s always about the goalie, if Holtby plays great (really great, 3 shutouts) the Caps win, if he struggles or lets in a couple of games, the team is rarely there to bail him out…

  • I totally agree, Denis. He’s been fantastic this season and these kinds of blow-ups just show how much he frigging cares.

  • Ovi was down on one knee, with his leg trailing and body out of the way. He did not screen him. The constant need to blame Ovi for everything baffles me.

  • NovaCath

    Oates will pull the goalie so Holtby better get used to it. Kolzig’s temper was not his best feature so color me not impressed with Holtby smashing his stick. The Caps really need wins right now so I do not care whose feathers get ruffled by the coach. If pulling the goalie for whatever reason might accomplish a win then so be it.

  • hokaheyhockey

    You guys are nuts if you think Holtby’s mad at himself. Getting pulled for allowing three shots (including one on a powerplay) on 22 shots in one and a half periods? That’s Oates’ bad call. No other coach in the NHL pulls goalies like that, and Oates has done this to Holtby twice! Everybody else on this team can have a bad shift, a bad period, a whole entire BAD GAME on the ice and they get away with it. But not Holtbeast who blocks the shots, gloves the puck, and makes stellar passes when NOBODY is on defense. And a Captain who can’t bare to stop a play or hustle the puck? Who puts it all out there for the team to win and who doesn’t? And Holtby is the one who gets yanked? And he’s pissed that this “team” is not going to the Playoffs. Man, if I were in his skates, I’d be tossing more than just twigs.

  • capsfan01

    Not a big deal, the kids allowed to rage every now and again. And it clearly wasn’t because he was pulled but because he let himself down. Just hope it doesn’t mess with his mentality.