Besides being a brand new father at the age of 22, Braden Holtby is the rookie goaltender who has just completely destroyed all expectations of himself so far this post-season.
Drafted 93rd overall in 2008 by Washington, Holtby played his juniors in the WHL for the Saskatoon Blades, where he posted some decent numbers. After a brief year in the ECHL playing for the South Carolina Stingrays, he signed with the Hersey Bears of the AHL. When he eventually got the call-up to Washington in 2010, he tore the F-in house down with a 10-2 record, a GAA of 1.79 and a .932 save percentage. After acquiring Tomas Vokoun for the 2011-2012 season, Holtby was sent back down Hersey to further develop his game.
After untimely injuries to Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth, Holtby was called back up just in time for the playoffs. No-one would have thought that the rookie goaltender who hasn’t played more then 21 games in the NHL would prove to be the reason why the Capitals are 1 game away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Well, sike your mind. Holtby has been absurd between the pipes, making 300,000 saves while posting a 1.95 GAA and a .935 SV%. Whats that you say, yea but hes 7-6? Well, he just ousted the #2 bruins, out-dueling the reigning Vezina winner Tim Thomas, and is 1 game away from beating the clear cut favorite for the Vezina and Hart trophy, Henrik Lundqvist. The kid isn’t facing 15-20 shots a game. Hes facing well over 25-30, and hasn’t been rattled yet. Coming into the post-season, in the eastern conference, Washington had arguably the biggest question mark in net. Well, haters gon hate. If Holtby can keep his game up, and can prove to be a legit #1 goalie for years to come, then watch out for the caps, because they might be on their way to another Presidents Trophy next year.
Good luck to you, Braden. I hope to see more of you for the next couple weeks.
Article written by: PatioHimself