Braden Holtby has been a rock for the Washington Capitals in net throughout the years he’s played for them. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2016 and helped bring home the Stanley Cup to Washington D.C. last year. With contract extension talks looming social media, some questions arise whether the Caps should retain his services or move on to one of the young guns down in Hershey.
One of Holtby’s most memorable NHL moments was hands down “The Save” during the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals when he robbed Vegas Golden Knights’ forward Alex Tuch with the stick on an open net chance. He has flashed greatness for many years for the Caps, but he has also let in some softies. In perspective, what goalie hasn’t let in goals that should’ve been saved? Some fans believe he has let in too many and is not worth the pay he’s expected to ask for when it comes to contractual talk.
Hershey Bears’ net-minding duo, Vitek Vanacek and Sergei Samsonov, have been brought into the discussion quite a bit on whether or not they should be given a look next season. With the three-year extension given to Pheonix Copley, I doubt they would be forced into an NHL role, but you never know.
Holtby this season posted 32-19-5 (W-L-OTL) record this regular season with a .911 save percentage. Not too bad and enough for the Caps to win the Metro division. We can all make our own opinion and judgement on the Canadian goaltender, but at the end of the day, it’s all a scheme in General Manager Brian MacLellan‘s eyes. We’ll just have to wait and see if he believes in Holtby enough to bring him back, or decide to let him go.
Amongst the many new things the Capitals will see and do over their first “roadie” through the bright lights of Las Vegas and T-Mobile Arena is a Golden Knights team which has surprised anyone who was “betting” on them to miss the playoffs .. no pun intended.
Among a familiar face in old friend and former Capital’s Nate Schmidt, the Caps will see a new one in big winger Alex Tuch. The hulking forward was taken 14th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 draft and was subsequently dealt to Vegas last June during the expansion draft and player movement spider web. With size and skating ability, Tuch can be a hard guy to contain at times and while still a rookie, the ceiling is high for the former NCAA product. His 14G’s and 14A’s for 28pts (37 gms) led Boston College as he became the first freshmen in 42 years to accomplish that feat.
Leaving for pro hockey in April of 2015, he has shown a knack for scoring at every level. While he may be a longshot for rookie of the year, there is no question, this player is in the league to stay. He is a contributing player to a Golden Knights team that has to have everyone’s attention by now. With 7G’s and 8A’s so far in 29 games this season the Caps will not be surprised by Tuch as advanced scouting will have been sure to flag him for his strength, which is get to the net. Tuch had registered a point in 5 straight games until being stalled on a current 4 game pointless streak.
The Caps will have their hands full with the likes of old FLA foe Jonathan Marchessault, sniper James Neal and others, but Tuch has the capability to make even more of a name for himself at any given time.
.. I also sense a Flower in the building… it’s a presence I haven’t felt in…
Go Caps Go
p.s. Check back later for more photos from the game as Brittney is in town and will have more Smiling Nate, Caps Road Crew, Caps Fan Club in Vegas and, we hope, winning Caps. Here’s a Nate preview if you missed it…