Caps and Holtby: Making a Statement

The playoffs have been outstanding so far if you are a Caps fan. Flyers fans, sorry (not sorry)!!

With veteran goalie Steve Mason between the pipes for Philly and Braden Holtby in for DC, it sure seemed that this would be a close and physical series. Well, its been physical but as far as being close; that was never the case except when the Flyers got that first goal in Game 3. That has been the only shining moment for the Flyers thus far.

Steve Mason has had some amazing saves, however, being on a team that takes a lot of penalties can be frustrating for a goalie. We goalies hate being on the penalty kill. The lack of discipline and respect shown by the Flyers this post season doesn’t come as much of a surprise to many. 

The Caps have  outscored Philly 12-2 through three games. Holtby has been at his best and is only getting better. He does something a lot of goalies don’t spend time doing–getting ready mentally for the game.  

The exercises and focus warm ups he does are the reason for his lightning quick reflexes. Earning a shutout in game one, he has proven yet again that he is the face of goalies in t
he NHL by outperforming goalies everywhere.

Steve Mason has a bit of an unfortunate situation; he plays in Philadelphia. In Game 3 the Capitals had seven minutes of the last eight on the power play. The defense was worn out and Mason looked dead tired. GAME02-243.jpg
A lot of that is because of the fans taking matters into their own hands. Throwing objects on the ice like the memorial bracelets that were part of a touching pregame ceremony to remember the late Mr. Ed Snider. Lou Nolan, the PA announcer for the Flyers was outstanding and professional to the max Monday night. He was put in a tough spot by fans that were misbehaving and he responded appropriately.

Game 4 should be a good one: one team is a win away from advancing, the other is one loss away from booking a tee time (good weather for it this week!), expect both teams to play a hard fought battle tomorrow.

LETS GO CAPS!!

More than a team.

It’s that time of year!

This season was spectacular in many ways. Records were broken right and left, there were teams playing the best in their franchises history, and the young and promising future of the NHL’s most elite showed up and made a statement. Playoff hockey has arrived and the quest for The Stanley Cup will prove one thing: that no matter what happens, the teams that are still in it are there for a reason. They gave it their all and are in the postseason because of the dedication and hard work it requires to achieve in this great sport. Only one team can move on in this best-of-seven series and we think the Washington Capitals have a good shot at being that team.

The Capitals are set to play the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the playoffs and if you know anything about the history between these two teams, you know it’s going to be a physical and highly competitive hard-fought series on both ends of the ice.

From the GM and the coaches, to all the players, scouts, athletic trainers and equipment managers, these are the people who represent hockey in  our nation’s capital. Oh, and lets not forget those goalies. You don’t have to go very far to find the best goalie in the game right now in #70 Braden Holtby. Tied with Martin Brodeur for the most wins in a single season by ANY goalie in NHL history (48),  it’s no wonder the Capitals had the season they did.

Goalie coach Mitch Korn has been sensational since coming to Washington. As a goalie myself I can’t begin to describe how important a goalie coach is to a team. They are the driving force behind a goalie and his performance and Korn has been phenomenal, helping Holtby to 48 wins because of dedication and going above and beyond.

The Washington Capitals have shown that they are no ordinary hockey team. You look at these guys and see strong friendships with smiles all around. This is a community and a family, all focused on one thing: winning the Cup. The attitude and skill this group of players has shown stunned the hockey world with a season that proves Washington sports isn’t a negative phrase anymore. This is the future.

LETS GO CAPS!

Chasing History

As the regular season draws closer to its conclusion the Capitals as a team are right where they need to be.  There is only one thing that goalie Braden Holtby has left to accomplish before the postseason begins: Win one game to tie, two to own, the record of most games won in the regular season–a  record currently held by three- time Stanley Cup champion goalie, Martin Brodeur. Recently Brodeur commented on the milestone that the young goalie is chasing: ”You need to play a lot of games, you need to be on a good team and you’ve got to perform,” said Brodeur who is now assistant GM of the Saint Louis Blues ”And he’s checking all the boxes.

The compliments don’t stop there; Other goaltender greats like Roberto Louongo said, ‘It’s time to stop referring to him as a young goalie, He’s here and he’s one of the best in the league. I’ve always thought that he was a great goalie, but obviously this year he’s taken it to another level.

And retired goalie Evgeny Nabokov said ”When the team got a little bit better defensively, I think now he’s at the spot where he can win close to 50 games. It’s been coming. It’s not like he came from nowhere.”  Evgeny Nabokov was close to the record himself winning 46 games in the 2007-08 season with the San Jose Sharks.

Every time a goalie with as much dedication and motivation as Holtby has, plays the way he has, players everywhere take notice and respect for the determination of an outstanding player that is at the best of his career. To take a record from a goalie that shaped the way goalies play today is truly a complement to Holtby and his success.

He might not realize it just yet, but this is just the beginning! There are a lot more games to play and many more records to break but when you break a record that Brodeur held, you’ve done something few people will ever do.

game holtby

All Hail the HoltBeast!!!

 

 

Formidable Four

Seventy-eight games down, four to go. The Caps have four games left before people judge this season. In their final four games, the Caps won`t have any easy ones as all four teams are battling for playoff position.

First, the New York Islanders Tuesday, April 5 7 p.m. EST

In what may be a potential first round playoff series, the Islanders sit two points out of third in the metro with one game in hand on the Penguins, but only two ahead of the Flyers for the second wild card spot. They also only sit three points ahead of Boston but have two games in hand on them. The Caps will need to come out strong at home against a fighting Islander team.

Second, Pittsburgh Penguins  Thursday, April 7 7 p.m. EST

The Caps will face the Penguins in what will be a hard fought game. The Penguins will look to lock up second place in the metropolitan division. The Caps will look to show that the 6-2 defeat in Pittsburgh last month is nothing more than a bad night. This will be a fun game to watch as both sides will have something to show.

Third, at St. Louis Blues, Saturday, April 9 8 p.m. EST

The Blues will look to solidify second in the Central, if they haven’t already by this point. In the final regular season road game, the Caps will look to play a hard and tough game like they will need to in the playoffs. By this point, the Caps may know who they will play in round 1 and if that is the case, look for them to finalize their round 1 line up.

Last up, Anaheim Ducks, Sunday April 10, 7:30 p.m. EST

In what is the make up game from the snow storm back in January, the Caps will close out the regular season at home. The Ducks currently sit 1 point out of first in the pacific and will know their fate by this game. The Caps on the other hand, may not. The Flyers and Islanders also play on this day. In that game, the loser may be coming to D.C. If Justin Williams plays in the three games leading up to this game, this will be his 1,000 career game.

In these final four games, look for the Caps to finalize their line up for round 1 and for them to try and help Holtby break the single season wins record while trying to prevent injuries. Enjoy these final four games of a historic season.