Apr 9, 2012, 1:37 PM EDT
There were enough signs at Monday’s Capitals practice — Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun were absent, Dany Sabourin was recalled from AHL Hershey — to suggest that Braden Holtby will start in goal when Washington opens the playoffs on Thursday in Boston.
To hear George McPhee explain it, Holtby will likely be the starter…by default.
“We have no choice,”McPhee told Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times. “If the other guys aren’t ready to go, he’s playing.”
While that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, McPhee did say he has some faith in the 22-year-old.
“[Holtby] can handle it,” he said. “We’ve had other goalies do it that were at the same age or younger.”
But will Holtby handle it? Here’s more, from the Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg:
Some believe Holtby has the talent, having gone 10-2-2 (including 7-0-1 against opponents who made the playoffs that year) last season with a 1.79 goals against average while posting a 0.934 save percentage. To win a Cup, a team has historically needed a netminder capable of putting up a .925 save percentage over 600 shots, which most NHL goalies can provide. But how likely is Holtby to do it?
Holtby has played 21 games at the NHL level, saving 487 of 524 shots for a save percentage of .929. Observed talent is not actual talent, so we can estimate with 95 percent confidence his “true talent” level is between .903 and .949. The huge spread is because of the small sample size of his career, which illustrates that we just don’t know how good Holtby will or won’t be at the NHL level. Since the 1997-98 season, rookie goaltenders in the playoffs have posted a .912 save percentage.
Inexperienced goalies are always a dicey proposition, especially in the playoffs. For every stellar performance (like Corey Crawford in Chicago last year) there seems to be an equally unimpressive effort (like Sergei Bobrovsky, who appeared in six games for Philly last postseason, going 0-2 with an .877 save percentage and a 3.43 GAA.)
Heading into Thursday, the Caps are hoping Holtby will be more like Crow than Bob.
May 23, 2013, 3:49 PM EDT
Shutting down the Blackhawks will do that.
May 23, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
But Drew Doughty says Galiardi is the biggest diver on the Sharks, so there.
May 23, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
For a headshot on Flyers prospect Taylor Leier.
May 23, 2013, 2:48 PM EDT
Good news for Phoenix hockey fans? (Or just…news.)
May 23, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT
“You don’t win a Stanley Cup without going through something like that.”
May 23, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT
It’s not pretty.
May 23, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT
What happens to the coach if the Rangers get swept tonight?
May 23, 2013, 1:24 PM EDT
When asked if Ottawa could come back from a 3-1 series deficit against Pittsburgh, he said “probably not.”
May 23, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
“That’s the way he plays.”
May 23, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT
It would cost them $24 million over 14 years.
May 23, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
Cue the buyout speculation.
May 23, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT
Will he be challenging Ryan Miller for it?
May 23, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
The home of the Oilers’ AHL affiliate.
May 23, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT
He’s frustrated nothing got done in Calgary.
May 23, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT
The big unveiling will be on June 4.
May 23, 2013, 10:37 AM EDT
He constructed the silver medal-winning team at the 2010 games in Vancouver.
May 23, 2013, 9:51 AM EDT
“It’s been pretty quiet for a while now.”
May 23, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
“(Gillis’) fault all the way.”
May 23, 2013, 8:02 AM EDT
Additionally, Chicago will play Detroit and the Kings will host the Sharks.
May 23, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT
Thursday’s collection of links
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 32
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 19
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 30
- Don Cherry: Canucks GM Gillis threw coaches ‘under the bus’ 25
- Playoffs Tonight: Bruins know series vs Rangers isn’t over 19
- Sens’ Alfredsson: We probably won’t win this series 20
- Discuss: Penguins overwhelm Senators to take Game 4 75
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting 104
- Gillis: Vigneault fired because results weren’t there 21
- Official: Canucks fire head coach Vigneault, assistants Bowness and Brown 33
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (103)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (100)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- Tebow fact: He reminds Chuck Norris of Chuck Norris
- LeBron stuns Pacers with OT winner in Game 1
- HBT: Astros vendor fired after taking food into bathroom
- Pens overwhelm Sens, take 3-1 series lead
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement