Things are going very well for the Washington Capitals. At 6-1-0, they lead the Metropolitan Division and are tied for the second most standing points in the league. Heading into Saturday night, several Caps were at or near the top of the league’s leaderboards.
Capitals GM Brian MacLellan should be swinging his pants around his head like a helicopter right now. Let’s recap.
The Washington Capitals still lead the Carolina Hurricanes 1-0, but it nearly wasn’t so. During a second period 5-on-3 for the Canes, Justin Faulk put the puck in the back of the net. That would have been a goal EXCEPT.
Moments before Faulk took that shot, Karl Alner shoved Jeff Skinner into Braden Holtby‘s back. Holtby fell forward, his face mask spilled onto the ice. That’s when the official is supposed to blow the play dead– like, instantly, for, ya know, player safety. But that did not happen.
Instead, the puck trickled out to Faulk, who released a shot to right around where Holtby’s rather attractive face might have otherwise been.
We’re thrilled to have Catherine Silverman aboard for this guest post. Cat writes for Today’s Slapshot and The Leafs Nation. She knows her goalies and was kind enough to write some words about Braden Holtby, his beard, and what makes him a great goalie. Be sure to give her a follow on Twitter. Take it away, Catherine!
I’ll make a confession: I’m an unabashed Braden Holtby apologist, and I absolutely adore just about everything about him.
He’s got that majestic beard. He flips his hair like he’s Henrik Lundqvist, but somehow also manages to always look like he’s hair-flipping in slow-mo during some sort of theatrical trailer for a surfing movie. He’s delightfully aggressive when skaters try to push him around, and he once refused to let the linesmen help him fish a puck out of his pads (despite the fact that it probably would have sped up the game a bit). Braden Holtby, in my eyes, is really a hero.
Outside of these more lighthearted reasons to appreciate Holtby, though, I’ve got a serious love for the way he plays the game — and if you’re a Capitals fan, you’re in for a serious treat yet again this year.
The Washington Capitals did a lot of good things this summer, building off a roster that was one game away from making the Eastern Conference Finals. Brian MacLellan traded for TJ Oshie, signed Justin Williams, and re-upped Braden Holtby. These moves, on top of another year of Barry Trotz, has three NHL.com writers— John Kreiser, Mike Morreale, and Matt Cubeta–seeing red.
A sampling of TSN hockey experts and NHL GMs were recently polled to rank the top 50 players in the league. Alex Ovechkin (5th), Nick Backstrom (22nd) and Braden Holtby (49th) were the three Caps to make the list. The rankings for Ovechkin and Backstrom seem reasonable (Backstrom might be a little high), but Holtby did not get due respect here.
There were five goalies in the top 50: Carey Price (3rd), Henrik Lundqvist(25th), Pekka Rinne (29th), Jonathan Quick (35th), and Holtby (49th).
Holtby is a better goalie than both Rinne and Quick.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Capitals celebrated all twelve months of the year with Homeward Trails’ Animal Rescue dogs for the 2015-16 Caps Canine Calendar. Each month had its own silly theme based on a season or holiday, with the players and dogs dressed accordingly.
Here’s a quick preview: Caps roomies Tom Wilson and Michael Latta celebrated Valentine’s Day by putting roses in their mouth for February; Braden Holtby wore a sombrero and poncho for Cinco de Mayo; and Karl Alzner dressed in a skin-tight skeleton costume with his dogs for Halloween in October.
January models Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson had problems. By the time the photographer was ready for them, the puppies they were carrying fell asleep in their arms. Adorable, but improvisation was needed. The New Years theme became “falling asleep before midnight.” After two rounds of throwing balloons, the crew tried popping confetti champagne bottles that startled the two pups awake in the middle of the take. The Swedes handled it well: with many puppy kisses.
After the main sets, the photographer did sessions with the player families that wanted their own set of photos. #SquadGoals.
Prepare yourself for enormous amounts of adorable. We can’t wait to buy this calendar.
With the game tied and so much open ice, the overtime period should be thrilling and unpredictable. And yet Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby hazarded a prediction: there will be a lot more offense from goaltenders. Oh boy.
EA Sports’ NHL16 got some splainin’ to do. Despite Alex Ovechkin leading the league in goals and Nicklas Backstrom leading the league in assists, EA Sports has rated the two stars’ digi-versions of themselves pretty dang conservatively.