Photo credit: Derek Leung
The Washington Capitals gave up three goals to the Calgary Flames in the first period on Saturday night. With his team on the verge of a total collapse, head coach Adam Oates pulled Braden Holtby from net, looking to change the game’s momentum. We thought at the time that the Holtbeast did not handle it well.
Holtby skated over, lifted up his mask, and began hurling profanities towards the bench. Later, when we saw a second angle on CBC’s After Hours, Caps defense coach Calle Johansson seemed very interested in what Holtby was saying.
Wednesday, on DC101’s Elliot In the Morning, Caps forward Jason Chimera was asked about the blow-up during an interview with the popular radio host.
In an honest response, The Ice Cheetah explained that Holtby was trying to fire up the team. Chimera even intimated some of what Holtby said when he came to the bench.
Elliot Segal: A lot has been made about when Holtby got chased the other night and came to the bench. You could tell he was pissed off. I can imagine anytime you’re a goalie and end up getting pulled out of a game, you get pissed off. But a lot has been made that he was yelling and screaming. Was that him just being frustrated or was he laying into somebody?
Jason Chimera: I don’t think he was yelling and screaming. I think he was yelling more at the bench to get going because I don’t think any of those goals were his fault. I think coaches do it moreso for momentum shifts than anything. I think he yelled at the bench and said, “Let’s wake the explicit up!” I think he wanted to light a fire under the guys and get ’em going. He’s a competitive kid. He wants us to win and that’s why we love to have him on our team for sure. Looking back at those goals, he wasn’t at fault for any of them. So he was telling the guys to wake up.
Elliot also asked Chimera about the team’s upcoming rookie dinner this season. “It’s too early,” Chimera responded. “We gotta at least let Tom [Wilson] get a paycheck first before paying for dinner.”
Chimera addressed the team’s unadventurous approach to puck possession when on the road as well:
Chimera: You learn, when you’re on the road, momentum is such a big thing. Just getting pucks in and pucks out, taking care of the puck. You know, it’s pretty boring hockey, but on the road it’s nice to play boring hockey and win hockey games. That’s the bottom line.
[ . . . ]
If the puck’s not in our zone, they don’t have chance to score.
After a moment, Chimera added, “At least I hope so. It’s very simple. It’s not rocket science. It’s just get it out and live to fight another day.”