Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby said “I don’t think it’s ever easy.,” in reference to how he felt about the team’s season ending. It was a disappointing finish in which Holtby added: “a goal you work towards all year and when you don’t accomplish it, it is obviously going to sting for a while.” Friday was Breakdown Day for the Capitals and the starting goaltender discussed the early exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, his season, and a possible contract extension with the team.
The Capitals had high hopes in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Holtby stated that “every round is tough” and you “never know how it’s going to go.” Winning the Stanley Cup last June changed the motivation but you have to “find ways to push yourself more,” which was something that the Capitals did not do enough. Holtby mentioned that the Stanley Cup Playoffs were another experience that creates more motivation that leads to beneficial production.
“Unique in a lot of ways” is how the netminder described his season. There were moments that were great and some that can be improved upon. He worked with goaltending coach, Scott Murray, to enhance goaltending consistency but it “wasn’t enough,” Holtby said. Despite having minor, “freak” things happen, he was happy to have a healthy and fortunate year.
Holtby would like to use the summer for training and prepare for what the Capitals can do better next time. The final year of his deal begins next season and when asked about a contract extension before the 2019-20 season starts, Holtby replied, “I would love that.” The goaltender loves the Capitals and the city. Because of that, he gets motivated to work hard. He also mentioned that they “have more than enough here to do it again” referring to the Capitals winning another Stanley Cup in the foreseeable future.
However, he understands that this is a business and trusts General Manager Brian MacLellan on what is best for the organization and team. The biggest job is being prepared to play and help the team anywhere can he can. Holtby commented, “You can only control what you can control.”
Holtby posted a record of 32-19-5, a .911 save percentage, goals against average of 2.82, and three shutouts during the regular season. In the Capitals’ seven games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 29-year old posted a record of 3-4, a save percentage of .914, a goals against average of 2.67, and one shutout.
By Della Young