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Holtby likely starter for Caps’ opener, No. 1 gig still open

Jan 14, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals reacts after giving up a goal in the second period of Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Getty Images

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made a name for himself in the 2012 playoffs and his impressive stint with the AHL Hershey Bears during the lockout has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm surrounding him.

Capitals coach Adam Oates hinted that Holtby’s performance last year has probably earned him the opportunity to start in the Capitals’ season opener. Still, that doesn’t mean he has the number one gig locked up, according to the Washington Post.

Michal Neuvirth is coming off of a rough season, but Oates plans to give him plenty of chances to prove himself. Ultimately, Holtby and Neuvirth might end up splitting the goaltending duties fairly evenly in 2013.

“Forty-eight games, I think both guys are going to play a lot, and I would say when a guy is playing well, he should play,” Oates said.

He thinks some healthy competition between the two young goalies is a “great situation to have, a luxury for a coach.”

Washington will open the shortened season against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

  1. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Another question mark for coach Oates. Will Holtby be as good as last year? He’s he a flash in the pain or a credible number 1 goalie.

  2. danphipps01 - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    The Holtbeast shall rise.

  3. ludacrish05 - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Holtby will be an elite goaltender. Saw the kid in training camp and he the right qualities to be one in this league

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 14, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      “elite” really?

  4. noc4ovi - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Difficult to say based on training camp. Remember how good Bryz looked before signing with Philly???

  5. jskins83 - Jan 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    training camp who cares the kid played outta his mind in the playoffs if there isnt a bigger stage than that besides the cup obviously earned the top spot

  6. rich859 - Jan 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Crap

    -Bruins fan

    • adlent - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      He did pretty damn well against you guys.

      • rich859 - Jan 14, 2013 at 10:21 PM

        Yeah he did. I think every Bruins fan was surprised/thoroughly pissed.

  7. husky2score - Jan 14, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Rich859 you have made my day. And yes, I would say Holtby has the potential to be a total stud in the NHL. GO CAPS!

    ALL HAIL THE HOLTBEAST!!!!!

  8. londonfletcher59 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    How is this even a question?? Holtby owned the playoffs and earned the number one spot. Michael is good, but a bit inconsistent. Holtby is #1, no question.

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