Holtby Is Historic!

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Braden Holtby entered tonight’s game in St. Louis looking to make some history.  With a win Holtby would tie Devils legend Martin Brodeur for 48 wins, the most in a regular season. The Caps would thump the Blues and Holtby would notch #48.

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Brodeur, who was 34 at the time, got the record for 48 wins during the 2006-07 season, his 13th season.  It was a record that stood for 33 years.  Brodeur passed Bernie Parent’s previous mark of 47 wins in the 1973-74 season.  Parent was a netminder on the Flyers and they went on to win the Stanley Cup that season.  He shared the Vezina Trophy with Tony Esposito of the Blackhawks and won the Conn Smythe Trophy with his performance in the playoffs.  It was his 11th season and Parent was 28 years old.

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby looks off after giving up a goal to the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of an NHL hockey game, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

After winning the Stanley Cup with Philadelphia, Parent said, “You mention the 47 wins and the 1.89 goals-against (average).  But I was only part of the puzzle.  I don’t care who you are, how good a goaltender you are, nobody wins 47 games without a great, great team in front of you.  I remember (that season) more for what we did as a team.  Winning the Stanley Cup.  Getting to carry the Stanley Cup.  That was the important thing.”

It took Brodeur 78 games to get that record, five more than it took Parent with 73 games in between the pipes.  However, the NHL regular season during Parent’s time was 78 games, not the 82-game schedule that we have today.

Brodeur won the Vezina Trophy that season just like Parent did but unlike Parent, Brodeur season didn’t end drinking out of the Stanley Cup that year despite entering the postseason with the number two seed in the Eastern Conference.  He only led New Jersey to the second round of the playoffs where they got upset by the Senators, closing their arena in the Meadowlands and moving to a new arena in Newark in the process.

An interesting thing about Brodeur in that particular season; him and Roberto Luongo were neck and neck for the leaderboard in regular season wins.  Brodeur finished just one win ahead while Luongo finished with 47 wins in his first season with the Canucks.

Now here’s the crazy thing about Holtby’s pursuit of Brodeur’s record: Holtby has earned 47 wins in 65 games this season… that is 13 games less than it took Brodeur to reach 48 wins (78 games).  13 games!  Through the Caps first 80 games this season, Holtby has posted a 47-9-7 record with three shutouts, a 2.22 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.  For Brodeur 80 games in the 2006-07 campaign, he registered a 47-23-7 mark with 12 shutouts, .219 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

Holtby has a chance to break Brodeur’s record tomorrow night at Verizon Center against the Anaheim Ducks in the Caps regular season finale.

NoVa Caps congratulates the Holtbeast on tying Brodeur’s  record for regular season wins.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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