Despite not playing a single game in the World Cup of Hockey, 2016 Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby already looks in midseason form.
Monday against the St. Louis Blues, Holtby stopped 13 of 14 shots in 31 minutes of playing time before yielding the net to backup Philipp Grubuaer. Holtby’s most impressive stop was on Ty Rattie during a second period Blues power play.
The Caps’ power play is aggressive. They use only one defenseman on the ice, which makes them dangerous but also susceptible to shorthanded chances. A few minutes after Alex Ovechkin scored, the Caps went to a power play, but instead of scoring, they let Rick Nash race in all alone on Braden Holtby.
The Great Wall Of Chinatown made a big save, though at first it looked pedestrian.
Braden Holtby was fantastic for the Washington Capitals on Saturday, making 32 stops in the team’s 3-2 shootout victory over the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, we can’t award him with the save of the game. That honor goes to Eric Fehr‘s stick.
No, not Eric Fehr, silly. Eric Fehr’s magical hockey stick.
In the third period, as John Tavares tried to bang home the game-tying goal with 1:04 left, he clanged the puck hard off the post. The puck ricocheted high into the air where a falling Fehr lost control of his hockey stick. Instead of falling to the ice like a normal hockey stick would, Fehr’s twig decided hey, lemme just make this save for Holtby while I’m up here.
Midway through the second period, the Capitals faced a daunting challenge. Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green got whistled for penalties, giving Tampa a full two-minute five-on-three power play.
No matter, Braden Holtby was up for the challenge, making one of the most brilliant saves of the year.
For as bad as the Washington Capitals defense has been this season, Braden Holtby has done his best to weather the storm.
He did so again on Sunday, after the Caps got confused in the defensive zone and allowed Wayne Simmonds a semi-breakaway.
Simmonds made a deke, catching the Holtbeast flat-footed. Holtby lost his balance, but then did something miraculous.
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