We’ve gotten used to elite goaltending in Washington — to the point that it might be taken for granted that Braden Holtby is in line for his second straight Vezina Trophy. This would be a big deal not just because it’s a prestigious trophy at an elite position, but also because it would make him the first goalie to win it back-to-back since Martin Brodeur did so in 2007 and 2008.
Even more impressive is that in the modern era of the trophy (since 1981) it’s only been won back-to-back by Brodeur, Patrick Roy, and Dominik Hasek — arguably the three greatest goalies of all time.
But by no means is it a slam dunk. Holtby’s toughest competition is Sergei Bobrovsky from the Columbus Blue Jackets and Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild. The race is close, with Holtby and Dubnyk currently neck-and-neck.
Photo: Ethan Miller
Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby won the 2016 Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. Holtby became the third Capital all-time to earn the accolade joining Jim Carey and Olie Kolzig in the history books.
Holtby kissed his wife Brandi and was kissed on the cheek by his mother Tami when he was announced as winner.
Six-time Vezina winner and 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Dominik Hasek presented Holtby the trophy on stage along with Kevin Weekes.
At the very beginning of his acceptance speech, a noticeably nervous Holtby admitted that he ignored his wife’s recommendation to write his thoughts down on a piece of paper.
But that didn’t matter. Holtby dominated the speech just like he did to every NHL team this season.
Three years after being relegated to third-string duty under Adam Oates, Braden Holtby is now a finalist for the the top award at his position. Wednesday night, we learned that the league’s general managers, who vote on the award, named Holtby as one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy for his performance in the regular-season. The honor is given “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position.”
Photo: Monumental Network
Carey Price won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, but when the league released the full voting, there was a fun tidbit. Caps netminder/awesome-beard-grower Braden Holtby finished fourth in total voting, two points away from getting a free trip to Las Vegas. Holtby got seven second place and five third place votes.
After the first two games of the quarterfinal round, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is sporting a .964 save percentage, having stopped 54 of the 56 shots he has faced. Last season’s Vezina and Conn Smythe winner, Thomas has already had a successful follow-up campaign, earning a 35-19-1 record during the regular season. He is the calm core of Boston’s defense and a reliable presence to backstop the league’s third best offense.
But Thomas’s composure came somewhat unspooled on Saturday night. After a whistle, he punched the previously concussed Nick Backstrom, who ended up scoring the game-winner in double overtime. While Thomas escaped without the match penalty recommended in rule 51.3 for goalies who use a blocker pad to punch a skater, he has not escaped the attention and ire of the Washington Capitals and their fans.
Games Three and Four of the series will be played in DC, and we just figured out precisely how we will troll.
Photo credit: Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images
One day after trading Semyon Varlamov to Colorado for a first and second round pick, General Manager George McPhee got the bargain of a lifetime when Tomas Vokoun agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Finally, a veteran goalie talented enough to provide skill and stabilization in net who could help put his team over the top.
“I don’t think we anticipated being this fortunate,” McPhee said.
Spending time with Montreal, Nashville, and the Florida Panthers for the past four seasons hasn’t given Vokoun a chance at winning too often, but could the move to Washington put him in position to win the Vezina trophy, awarded to the league’s best goaltender?
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