Washington Capitals Player Preview: Braden Holtby

NoVa Caps has been preparing key “player previews” for the upcoming season as the Washington Capitals begin to gear up for the start of training camp in two weeks. Today, we continue our previews with goaltender Braden Holtby

2016-17 Season Recap
Holtby had another phenomenal season in 2016-2017. He had a 42-13-6 record with a full season career-high .925 save percentage and a full season career-low 2.07 goals-against average, which earned him a second straight Vezina Trophy nomination after winning the award in 2016 (he finished second in Vezina voting to Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets).

Holtby tied Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers for most wins in the season and had the fourth-best save percentage and second in goals-against average. Holtby became just the third goalie in NHL history to win 40 or more games in three consecutive seasons. He also led the league with nine shutouts and won the William M. Jennings Trophy, which is awarded to the goalie(s) who allows the fewest goals.

Unfortunately, Holtby struggled in the postseason with a career-low .909 save percentage and career-high 2.47 goals-against average. Despite that, Holtby did play well in the final three games of the Pittsburgh series, stopping 64 of the 70 shots he faced.

Braden Holtby’s Top Play of 2016-17

2017-18 Preview
The Caps gave up the fourth-fewest shots against last year, averaging 27.8 shots against per game.  Holtby is likely to see a heavier workload this year with the departures of defensemen Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner, and Kevin Shattenkirk.  As the new defense gets up to speed, Holtby will need to be strong early in the season.

Holtby, who turns 28 on September 16, has shown that he is one of the best goalies in the NHL, and the Caps need him to stay sharp with the possibility of having two rookies in the lineup on the blueline.

More of this:

Keeping the puck out of the net and having stellar seasons. Nothing else to see here.

Less of this:
According to HockeyReference.com, Holtby had a career-high eight RBS (Really Bad Starts) in the regular season and two in the playoffs, also a career-high. Holtby must stop the slow starts if the Capitals are going to make the playoffs this season. He must also do better than a .848 save percentage on the penalty kill, his lowest in a full season, which was a big reason why the Capitals’ penalty kill got off to a slow start last season. He also tied a career-high with seven giveaways.

Key Goals for the Season:

  • keep doing what earned him two Vezina Trophy nominations in the past two seasons
  • be ready to take on a heavier workload
  • be sharper on the PK
    -carry his regular season consistency into the playoffs
  • continue strong bounce-backs after bad games

Related Articles:
Braden Holtby Comes Up Short in Consecutive Vezina Trophy Bid
What Goalie Equipment Does Braden Holtby Use and How Much Does it Cost?
Braden Holtby and Phillipp Grubauer’s Top 5 Games

Other Player Previews:
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Brett Connolly
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Nicklas Backstrom
Washington Capitals Player Preview: John Carlson
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Evgeny Kuznetsov
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Dmitry Orlov
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Matt Niskanen
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Lars Eller
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Tom Wilson
Washington Capitals Player Preview: T.J. Oshie
Washington Capitals Player Preview: Andre Burakovsky

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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15 Responses to Washington Capitals Player Preview: Braden Holtby

  1. Caps have no Cups says:

    He is Swiss cheese. Can he stop the Penguins from filling the net?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good to see someone else commenting on here besides me. Indeed, he looked like the Great Wall of chumptown on that hornqvist goal in game 7. Just like the caps, he is great in the regular season, and falls apart in the playoffs. And that beard…. my god!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Game 7? There shouldnt have been game 7… Bons goal in game 1 was weak… pulled in game 2. He has one more year to light it up in the playoffs and if not, move on with his 6m/year$

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  5. I hope Holtby improves and is consistent from start to finish, including playoffs

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