The Washington Capitals held an optional practice in front of a full house, Saturday. Half the team, including Head Coach Barry Trotz, was not on the ice. Everyone was energized and in high spirits from the 6-0 shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks the night before.
Instead of a puck, Daniel Winnik started the warm-up with a perforated practice golf ball. Later Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt shared a silly moment after Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov put a shot past the netminder. Holtbeast playfully slashed Schmidt’s legs, whose dramatics ensued for a fun set of images. Holtby’s face after his payback was priceless.
Post-practice Matt Niskanen even tried to hide from the camera and we shared a laugh. It was a great welcome back to the hockey grind. Enjoy these snaps from the morning practice.
Tuesday afternoon, the NHL announced that Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby were named to the 2017 All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The Capitals’ Mike Vogel interviewed each player after last night’s victory and asked what the nomination meant to them.
While Ovechkin looked forward to spending time with his family (who’s “finally” going this year), Holtby looked forward to visiting LA again and worrying less about his results in net.
“It’s fun because there’s not many times you can play hockey without stress,” Holtby said. “You can just go with the flow which is pretty cool.”
The Holtbeast has a very nuanced gameday routine which includes drinking 16-17 liters of water throughout the day. And like his former goaltending coach Olie Kolzig, Holtby is one of the more intense players in the league, holding himself to a high standard.
Transcriptions of both interviews are below.
Tuesday afternoon, the NHL announced their All-Star Game rosters and two Capitals made the Metropolitan Division roster: Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby. The nomination is Ovechkin’s franchise-record eighth selection to the game (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17) and Holtby’s second (2015-16, 2016-17).
So far this season, Ovechkin has scored 19 goals, ranking him eighth in the NHL, while Holtby sits seventh in wins (19), third in save percentage (.931), and tied for first in shutouts (5).
Capitals’ Head Athletic Trainer Greg Smith also received a nod and was named the Eastern Conference’s athletic trainer.
This year’s All-Star Game will be held at Staples Center on Sunday, January 29.
Someone needs to get some rope and tie Braden Holtby to the net, because the Holtbeast’s roaming again.
Monday night against Montreal, Braden left the crease and got in a foot race with Canadiens forward Paul Byron for a loose puck while the Caps were on the power play.
Holtby won, but barely.
On Saturday night, the Capitals turned in a mediocre game against the Ottawa Senators. But who cares? They had Braden Holtby in net. Holtby made 30 saves to blank the Sens, just two days after the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native helped break the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 16-game winning streak with a 29 save whitewash.
Overall, Holtby was 2-0-0 last week (including a no decision) with a 1.29 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. He earned back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career against Columbus and Ottawa.
Michael Grabner of the New York Rangers was the league’s first star with five goals and two assists while the Oilers’ Patrick Maroon took second place with five goals and a helper.
Well, courtesy of the NHL Public Relation’s twitter, Holtby had another first tonight. With his 30-save outing against Ottawa Saturday, Holtby posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his NHL career.
On Tuesday, Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer led the Capitals to a nail-biting 6-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs after replacing a shaky Braden Holtby in the first period. On Thursday, however, Grubauer never came to mind, as Holtby managed a brilliant shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were going for an NHL record 17-straight wins in a single season. In fact, Grubauer wasn’t even on the bench most of the game.
“He was fine this morning, and then on his way here, he wasn’t feeling so good,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “We kept him in the back room. He was getting pumped full of fluids and stuff.”
The Caps-Devils game today has been a mess. After a scary injury involving John Moore, the game has devolved into infinite penalties and cheap shots.
With 39 seconds left in the second period, Philipp Grubauer even got involved in a scrum after Miles Wood took an extra whack at a rebound. (Yes, the same Miles Wood that Alex Ovechkin gave a signed photo to two nights earlier.)
Braden Holtby’s passion for men’s fashion is well known and he’s continued to explore the art this season. Holtby did a photoshoot for GOTSTYLE and donned a fedora in a photoshoot for DC Luxury Magazine in October. He also rocked a fancy Smoky Bear hat/tan coat outfit after a recent practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Friday, Holtby shared his opinions about socks as part of a promotional video for the Caps Holiday Ticket Package. And I can report, he is very passionate and opinionated about the topic.
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