Washington Capitals‘ star goaltender Braden Holtby made a quick trip to New York City this week in between his pre-camp workouts at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The two-day sojourn was part of the NHL’s annual media tour.
To no surprise, Holtby was asked about his performance in last year’s playoffs and dealing with another early exit from the playoffs. Sportsnet’ Elliotte Friedman detailed the interview in his latest column.
Prior to last season’s playoffs, Holtby’s post-season numbers were outstanding, amassing a 1.87 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 46 games. Then came Toronto, where he was beaten by several strange ones. Another NHL goalie called the Maple Leafs’ goals “some of the weirdest” he’d ever seen.
Holtby agrees. “(It was) completely bizarre, the bounces and things that were happening. Fortunately, we won, but the thing I’ve worked on is not letting it affect me in the next series, getting over that mental hurdle — the feeling of things not going your way. That was the most I’ve been challenged in my career in terms of uncontrollable things that just happen. It’s good to go through because it will help our team in the future, and also myself. It was difficult.”
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According to Elliotte Friedman, there were reports Washington considered pulling Holtby and he admitted it bothered him.
Holtby was also asked about regrouping for the coming season. “The mentality and end goal don’t change,” he said. “Changes to our roster mean the approach might be different…The frustrating part is we are better than what we showed. We tried to make sure all year that didn’t happen, sometimes it just does. It’s been a long summer thinking about things, but that frustration can feed in the right direction.”
By Jon Sorensen