- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
Braden Holtby returns to Madison Square Garden
Rangers playoff series was part of Caps goaltender’s ‘coming out party’
While an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, Adam Oates watched the Washington Capitals‘ playoff series against the New York Rangers with a careful eye. The Devils were set to face the winner, so Oates got the chance to watch goaltender Braden Holtby’s standout performance.
“Obviously that was for Holts his coming out party,” the Caps’ coach said Saturday. “Against Boston and the Rangers he played really really good hockey for the team and gave them some confidence.”
Holtby picked up confidence during that stellar playoff run, too. But as the 22-year-old returns to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers for the first time since losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals, one feeling overrides the history at atmosphere of that building.
“The last memory has to be losing there,” Holtby said. “So it’s a little bit of revenge for us. We’re going to want to put in a very good performance there.”
Holtby will be making just his sixth start at Madison Square Garden. Including the 2011-12 regular-season finale and four playoff games, he’s 2-3 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .925 save percentage there.
“The way we were playing last year in the playoffs, I didn’t even really look at stats or whatnot,” said Holtby, who had a 1.95 GAA and .935 save percentage in 14 starts. “That was just a fun time because of how good we were playing, all of us. It wasn’t a one-man show in any of the games.”
“This year it’s a different season,” Holtby said. “I don’t think that went through my mind at all.”
Holtby said he has felt comfortable all season, from his time with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears during the NHL lockout through his past three starts, all victories. It wasn’t about replicating the high of the playoff run.
“It’s just different circumstances,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to stick with it, and lately it’s been paying off more than it did at the start.”
Part of it is that the Caps have gotten their act together and grown more accustomed to Oates‘ system. But defenseman Karl Alzner said he noticed something click for Holtby after a rough performance at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 7.
“You could just tell the way he was making his saves was a lot more simple,” Alzner said. “If it was a hard shot high glove, instead of him really having to swing for it, he was already there.”
Holtby has a 3.89 goals-against average and .877 save percentage, but those numbers aren’t indicative of his recent play.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- White House is obstructing probe on Navy Yard shooter, NSA leaker, Darrell Issa says
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow