Skip to content

Is Braden Holtby becoming a star before our eyes?

Apr 19, 2012, 10:17 PM EDT

holtbygetty Getty Images

When it became clear that injuries to Washington Capitals goalies Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth would open the door for unproven youngster Braden Holtby, most chalked up a huge advantage for Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins. Aside from looking relatively human in Game 3, the shoe’s been on the other foot: Holtby has been the best netminder on the ice most nights – and he had to be in a 2-1 win on Thursday.

That was particularly true in the first and third periods.

The Bruins generated a ridiculous 14-3 shot advantage to start things off but Holtby was a brick wall, allowing the Capitals to gasp into the first intermission with a 1-1 tie. Boston then nearly duplicated that effort with a 13-3 edge in the final frame, but this time Holtby was perfect while Alexander Semin scored a blazing game-winner.

Overall, Holtby’s numbers were dazzling: 44 out of 45 shots stopped for his second playoff win. (Boston’s shot advantage wasn’t as lopsided in the second period, but the Bruins still fired a staggering 18 pucks on Holtby without beating him once.)

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Even beyond his mostly-sterling numbers in three of four games, it’s Holtby’s attitude and body language that seems to scream “the right kind of cocky.” More than one Twitter observer remarked about his swaggery glove saves, which are often a sign of a netminder who has the right kind of confidence going.

With the series knotted up 2-2, it’s easy to get carried away. (Like, say, calling him a star in a headline.)

Still, if he can keep this up, he might justify some lofty comparisons made to other goalies who took the playoffs by storm in their first appearances. If nothing else, his debut is smelling a lot like another recent Caps goalie who befuddled scorers for a brief but memorable time.

So far, so great for Holtby. What are your observations about the 93rd pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, though?

Latest Posts
  1. Don Cherry: ‘Something’s gotta go’ in Edmonton

    Oct 20, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT

    Don Cherry Getty Images

    Talking about the Oilers perhaps trading one of their young players.

  2. Video: Callahan crunches Hall

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT

    Ryan Callahan Getty Images

    Heavy hit along the boards.

  3. Canucks coach Desjardins on return to Dallas: ‘It means I want to win more’

    Oct 20, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT

    WillieDesjardins AP

    That’s about as much trash talk as you’re going to get from Willie D.

  4. Report: Drouin to make NHL debut against Oilers after all (Updated: It’s official)

    Oct 20, 2014, 9:21 PM EDT

    Jonathan Drouin AP

    Alex Killorn is – again, this is based on same report – out of the lineup.

  5. Leafs’ Biggs, mired in ECHL, ‘really felt the onus’ of being 1st-rounder

    Oct 20, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Tyler Biggs Getty Images

    “He’s got to go and maybe play out of the spotlight that we have here in Toronto.”

  6. Coyotes concerned about Smith’s struggling psyche

    Oct 20, 2014, 7:57 PM EDT

    mikesmithgetty Getty Images

    “I’ve played three games and it hasn’t gone even close to the way it needs to be.”

  7. Maybe tomorrow? Drouin won’t play tonight versus Oilers

    Oct 20, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    Coach Cooper cites the long trip to Edmonton from Syracuse as reason to keep the rookie out against the Oilers.

  8. Sabres to retire Hasek’s jersey on Jan. 13

    Oct 20, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT

    Dominik Hasek AP

    A fairly well-deserved honor.

  9. Goalie nods: Big game for Scrivens vs. Bolts

    Oct 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 24: Ben Scrivens #30 of the Edmonton Oilers in action against the Phoenix Coyotes during an NHL game at Rexall Place on January 24, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) Getty Images

    News and notes from the blue paint…

  10. Bruins’ Miller out indefinitely after dislocating shoulder in fight

    Oct 20, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT

    Miller

    Matt Bartkowski expected to step in tomorrow versus San Jose.

  11. Flames sign Brodie, who’s ‘going to be a big building block’ for team

    Oct 20, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT

    T.J. Brodie AP

    Already has seven points in seven games this season.

  12. Voynov arrest of ‘great concern’ to Kings, who support NHL’s suspension

    Oct 20, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Club addressed the domestic assault charges in a brief statement Monday.

  13. Four straight losses has Jets in big, early hole

    Oct 20, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    Lots of questions being asked in Winnipeg.

Featured video

Why are we talking about fighting... again?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (3672)
  2. J. Drouin (3017)
  3. M. Gaborik (2950)
  4. E. Staal (2871)
  5. J. Spezza (2737)