“I’m just chillin’ here mindin’ my own business.”
Late in the third period, the Washington Capitals first line got in what could be generously called a line brawl. After Alex Ovechkin checked an unaware Mike Brown hard into the boards (clearly interference and a retaliatory hit for the body check he took seconds earlier from Andrew Ference), everybody converged into one big pig pile of angry hockey hate.
There was pushing. There was shoving. There were face washes and head-patting too. Pugilists Karl Alzner and Mike Green were sent to the box along with Alex Ovechkin. Two Oilers’ players, Luke Gazdic and Brown, also served time for roughing.
As the line brawl went on, my brain wandered. Why won’t Braden Holtby come down and join in on the fun? A few weeks ago, Ryan Miller fought Jonathan Bernier. Holtby has never been one to feel constrained by his goalie crease or afraid to send a message to the other team.
Holtby did send a message to the Oilers, but found a more subtle way to deliver it. As Taylor Hall went for a deflection goal a few minutes later, the Holtbeast told the former first overall pick to get the hell out of his crease.
That looks painful. (GIFs by Ian Oland)
As Alexander Urbom puts his hip into Hall, Holtby deflects the airborne Oiler to the ice. Or, as Craig Laughlin so eloquently put it, “a little left arm shiver and an elbow.”
Holtby was sensational in net, making 28 saves and earning his first victory on the season.
This save on David Perron was easily his best.
But I love Holtby’s sass in net. He will not be intimidated. He definitely has the same spunk as his childhood hero, Patrick Roy.