As a kid, Braden Holtby played forward before turning into a goaltender full-time as a teenager. That’s where Holtby gets his strong stickhandling ability from and that’s why, dammit, he’s going to score a goal someday.
Saturday night against the Devils, Holtby– after making 33 saves and playing generally amazing– decided to take a pot shot at New Jersey’s empty net with the Caps clinging to a two-goal lead.
On November 26, 2014, In Game Recap, By Chris Gordon
Photo credit: Al Bello
“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” – Kurt Vonnegut
For years, the Islanders have made that quote ring true. Confused ownership, terrible hockey and of course Nassau Colosseum. The old place will soon be gone from our TV screens. The smell, the lighting, the architecture, the scoreboard stolen from the local high school. So it goes.
Now, though, the Islanders are moving on. Pretty soon they’ll playing their games in a decedent building in Brooklyn. They’re also now good at hockey. The Caps had trouble with that tonight.
The first period was mostly dominated by the Isles. Anders Lee put them up top after John Carlson failed to cling to his man. Washington then released a small furry of shots before Alex Ovechkin got the Caps back in it with another one of them goals from the circle place when his team has more people on the ice. Travis Hamonic then gave New York the lead again when his high flying wrist shot made it past an effectively blindfolded Braden Holtby.
The second was mostly Isles, but the Caps came on towards the end. The Isles took another unnecessary penalty and Ovi did The Thing. 2-2.
Isles pressed in the third but there was nothing doing.
In the extra, scrapeless frame, Nicky grabbed someone’s stick. John Tavares threw his hands in the air. That’s all. Isles beat Caps 3-2 (OT).
The Capitals goalie hasn’t had a lot to smile about since October 26th. The Capitals’ five-game losing streak came to an end on Friday night. Stopping 38 shots from the Chicago Blackhawks, Braden Holtby was instrumental in securing the win and ending the slump.
For the last few games, Washington’s offense has been lacking. Alex Ovechkin has struggled to score — going five games without a goal — while the rest of the lines have struggled to click as Barry Trotz’s looks for line combinations that will gel. On Wednesday, they got the offense. Washington clearly outclassed the Red Wings but made a few inexplicable mistakes. They hurt.
“They’re not playing overly poor,” Trotz said after the game. “You’ve just got to put your nose to the grindstone and plow through it.”
“Every turnover we did have ended up in the back of the net a little bit,” he added.
This screengrab looks like it could be an action shot on a hockey card.
Washington Capitals rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov has had an uneven season thus far. He’s spent most of his time on the team’s fourth line, learning the center position as he goes. He’s also seen a bunch of time on the team’s second power play unit.
On Wednesday, after tallying three points in his first eight games, Kuznetsov finally broke through for his first goal of the season.
It was a beauty. And it was all because of Braden Holtby.