Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
Thursday night, the New York Rangers opened the scoring in game four after Braden Holtby made an aggressive play that ultimately backfired. Holtby fired a saucer pass up the center of the ice that was intercepted by Taylor Pyatt, who knocked the puck out of the air with his stick. Brad Richards ultimately scored on an empty net.
With three out of four games in the Caps/Rangers series having been decided by one goal, it was a play too risky for Holtby to try. Capitals’ head coach Adam Oates agreed with that sentiment Thursday after practice.
“Probably. Obviously in hindsight he could’ve made a better decision, gone up the wall,” Oates said to The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera. “But he saw something and we trust him.”
“I thought I made the right play,” the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native said. “I just need to get that a foot higher in the air, make him take a high stick. He made a great play knocking that down. He doesn’t make that; that’s a breakaway the other way. That happens.”
No, that’s too risky. That kind of play shouldn’t happen.
One game earlier, Holtby iced the puck on a Capitals power play, which was equally as infuriating.
Playing the puck as a goaltender is a supplemental part of the game. When Holtby starts blurring the lines between easy plays and ones that could end up in the back of the net, he looks a bit too brazen. And really, he should leave that to Patrick Roy, who did stuff like this his whole career.