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.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Chicago’s been tough to beat at home in the playoffs.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT
Can Columbus rebound from its Game 3 collapse?
Apr 23, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT
He spent three seasons with the Flyers.
Apr 23, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
He’s been out since April 10.
Apr 23, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT
It’s that or hit the road down 3-1.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:17 AM EDT
They’ll be facing elimination on Thursday.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT
Stunner at the Staples Center.
Apr 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Impressive, but just his first marker of the series.
Apr 22, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT
Apr 22, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT
“They thrived on it.”
Apr 22, 2014, 11:06 PM EDT
Some thought he was milking an injury and even holding the wrong knee.
Apr 22, 2014, 10:53 PM EDT
Flyers fans give it right back, though.
Apr 22, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT
Get this: people will be talking about Flyers goaltending.
Apr 22, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
Not exactly a thing of beauty, but it counts…
Apr 22, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT
Kept him out of the entire opening round.
Apr 22, 2014, 10:14 PM EDT
Boston’s first win at Joe Louis Arena in seven years.
Apr 22, 2014, 10:03 PM EDT
Not the names you’d expect, huh?
Apr 22, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT
Tampa Bay hits a wall called Montreal.
Apr 22, 2014, 9:39 PM EDT
Another blowout coming?
Apr 22, 2014, 9:03 PM EDT
And creates a little bit of controversy in the process.
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 38
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 52
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 41
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 75
- WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (Game 3) 2
- Bettman says shootouts are staying, gives salary cap estimate 34
- Video: Yeo asked if Cooke told to ‘target’ Avs, does not like question 45
- On Matt Cooke and whether he’s a ‘repeat offender’ 58
- Marleau, O’Reilly and St. Louis named Lady Byng finalists 20
- Zuccarello: ‘I’m not a diver’ 50
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (127)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)