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“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.

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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.

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  • VeggieTart

    The Holtby-Peverly confrontation is one of my boyfriend’s favorite moments.

  • OlietheGoalie

    His “what are you going to do?” arm cross is a big reason why I still believe in Holt. Yeah, he gives up some soft saves, but he’s still young and he’s VERY aggressive. He’ll learn everything else he needs.

  • holtbysaidno

    YES! He must protect this crease!

  • Sage Confucius

    Holtby showed nice form! This is still my favorite goalie check. Holtby should study Thomas’ form for next time.

  • Rhino40

    Sure as the sun will rise each morning, the time will come when the HoltBeast® goes mano a mano with the opposing ‘keep as the crowning glory of a “Becch-clearings” (sic.) line brawl for the ages. After all, everyone knows that Goalie Fights Are The Best Fights™!

  • VeggieTart

    Actually, the expression was, “Don’t even THINK of it, bub” (or perhaps a less polite term).

  • Alex

    During that brawl I was thinking the same thing: “Get in there, Holts!” I bet he’d be pretty good in a fight.

  • Jalabar

    This is the second time I have seen a post here that called Ovie’s hit ‘clearly interference’ (actually, the other post’s wording was that the puck was ‘long gone’), when in fact it was CLEARLY not interference to anyone with a whit of knowledge about hockey. The hit occurred well under a second after Brown had passed the puck. The hit was very borderline boarding (I think it was legal), and the interference call was absurd on the ice. For someone with the luxury of hindsight to still call it ‘clearly interference’ boggles the mind.

  • LGC

    I thought Holtsy’s raised skate was icing on the cake. Crash into him again, and he’ll cut you.

  • H70

    Sass, I love it! He puts entertainment value into so-so games.