It’s not easy to win the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender, but tonight’s matchup between the Capitals and Montreal Canadiens will feature the past two Vezina winners in what should be an epic matchup.
Last season, Capitals starting goalie Braden Holtby established himself as one of, if not, the best goaltenders in the NHL by tying the NHL record for most wins in a season and winning the Vezina Trophy. Tonight, he faces Montreal’s Carey Price, the Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy (league MVP) winner of the 2014-15 season.
Both goalies could easily be called the best in their craft and rightfully so. In 268 career games played, Holtby has a record of 163-66-27 (.608 winning percentage), with 25 shutouts, a 2.35 goals-against average (GAA), and a .921 save percentage. In 469 games played in his career, Price has a record of 249-159-52 (.531 winning percentage), with 38 shutouts, 2.40 GAA, and a .920 save percentage.
Both have won the Vezina and Price has an aforementioned Hart Trophy to his name; he became the first goalie since former Capital Jose Theodore accomplished the same as a member of, ironically, the Montreal Canadiens in 2000.
This season, both are having outstanding seasons yet again. Holtby has a 14-6-2 record in 22 games played to go along with a 2.08 GAA, two shutouts, and a .925 save percentage, putting him on pace for 39 wins this season. In comparison, Price has a record of 16-4-2 with a 1.95 GAA, .935 save percentage, and two shutouts, putting him on pace for 44 wins. While that number may come as a chagrin to Caps fans, it’s reflective of how close in talent these goalies are.
While both will rely on their teammates in front of them to play hard and better than their opponents, all eyes will be on the men between the pipes in what should be a showdown to remember.
By Michael Fleetwood