The Washington Capitals have been looking for a consistent starting goalkeeper ever since the departure of Olie Kolzig. Going into the 2010-2011 season, we thought that Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth would be battling for the starting job, and have hoped all along that one of them would step up enough to be considered an elite starter by the team the Capitals hit the playoff stretch. That still may be the case. But there could now be a third horse in this race.
Following his win against the New York Islanders Thursday night, Braden Holtby has once again been entrusted between the pipes, and he looks to be having the best game of his young NHL career to date. Holtby has turned away all 17 of the shots he's faced so far from the Toronto Maple Leafs, including some very big saves. One of his biggest was described on Twitter by Russian Machine Never Breaks.
Another great save! Puck squirts through, Holtby backs up in the crease and squeezes his pads before the puck crosses the line! Wow.
The Capitals have also been working hard defensively, blocking 18 shots through two periods.