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Capitals’ coach doesn’t fault Holtby for 6-3 loss

Jan 20, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 19: Martin St. Louis #26 of the Tampa Bay Lightning scores goal past defenseman Troy Brouwer #20 and goaltender Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals during the second period at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on January 19, 2013 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Braden Holtby had plenty of hype surrounding him going into the 2013 campaign and it’s not hard to see why. He had been great in his brief stints with the Capitals, a hero in the playoffs, and looked good in the AHL during the lockout.

All that made him the obvious choice for Adam Oates to start in his NHL coaching debut on Saturday. Ultimately very little went right for the Capitals on Saturday and Holtby ended up allowing six goals on 34 shots in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Still, after the game Oates chose to defend his goaltender.

“You know what, I don’t fault Holts at all on the goals,” Oates said, according to the Washington Times. “I think it was more all of us. And he played hard. Once again I’ll talk to the goalie coach and we’ll evaluate that on Monday.”

Oates previously stated that he would use both of his goaltenders a lot this season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Michal Neuvirth start in Washington’s home opener on Tuesday.

You can view highlights from the game below:

  1. watermelon1 - Jan 20, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Oh great, here we go again with the goalie carousel.

    How about we just play defense instead of swinging out stick back and forth wildly while lunging?!?

    And maybe actually run some offense instead if taking the first horrible angle shot we can find each possession?

    • dcfan4life - Jan 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      More importantly, how bout we not take so many penalties. Offense was ok, a few unliked bounces, defense wasn’t, but what really lost that game were the penatlies.

  2. ravenscaps48 - Jan 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    3 Goals on the Power Play. 2 of the Goals he was HEAVILLY screened. And a 2 on 1 goal with Green playing the defense, so esentially a 2 on O. Green’s D-work isn’t impressive, Schultz is worthless as usual, Hamrlik is old and slow. Poti’s first game back in a few years. Our D-Men let us down last night, not Holtby.

  3. prosportswashington - Jan 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Holtby wasnt great but it was more the D-men at fault. there was no discipline and very little in the way of shot blocking. Shultz is too passive, Poti hasn’t played in almost 2 years and everyone else was below average at best. But I still have alot of hope for what the caps can do this year once they gel and work together better

  4. pensfan603 - Jan 20, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Penalties were the big story in most games but the point the owner said it doesnt matter if the dont make the playoffs and then this performance you should be worried.

  5. bmoreredfury311 - Jan 20, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Overall cant be disappointed with the first game. For a new couch and some new players and only having a week to get some kind of a system down, not too bad. Of course they need to tighten up on D and make clear hard outs of your own zone. Holts look a little shaky but not bad for the first game. I say give Nuevs a shot. Need a good bounce back game Tuesday, and a division win. Its going to take a game or two to get this team to gel.
    GO CAPS!

  6. vbcaps - Jan 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I thought the Caps looked good the first 10 minutes…drew some penalties. D looked a little slow midway through the game.

    I was impressed by Ribeiro, thought he looked solid. Nice getting a production from him and Wojtek Wolski. And Ward had two goals which is a good start for him.

    I also don’t blame Holtby, I thought he looked solid. The 5-3 goal by St. Louis…yea no one is going to stop that shot.

    Caps did take too many penalties. I look for them to bounce back in a big way Tuesday at home.

    Tampa def is an offensive team and you can’t give them too many opportunities or they will stash them.

  7. lsxphotog - Jan 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    From the second period on, Tampa was in control. They simply walked all over the Caps. The time of possession and time in zone was very lop-sided, and you could see it in the shots on goal too. Had both teams kept themselves out of the box, I don’t think the outcome would have been any different. Ovechkin played like a jabroni and was back in action not doing a damn thing to back-check and pretty much just waited for an opportunity to take the puck or snap a shot. Hedman had his number all night and Ovi was foiled by the almighty pokecheck! haha Hard to make a drive to the net if you leave the puck behind.

    What was impressive was to see the puck movement by Tampa. Last season they were plagued by poor chemistry and risky passing that cost them turnovers left and right. I don’t know if it was Washington’s horrible D, or if it was Tampa just cycling and driving the net well, but they controlled the game when they had the puck. Late in the game, Washington made a good effort to score and kept the puck in the zone, but Tampa can also be blamed for their poor movement trying to exit the zone as well.

    Overall….Caps looked bad. Green was up on the wing more often than not and left the points dry for Tampa to breakout. Backstrom was solid and covered back well. I don’t think I saw Ovechkin cross back over their own blue line at all. jk haha The guy just hovered around the outlet in hopes a puck would spit out. It did from time-to-time, but Tampa’s D was right there to shut him down.

    Caps fans can blame the penalties all they want, watch the tape and tell me the team did their job otherwise. The 3rd period sealed the deal as the Lightning took advantage of the Capitals’ lack of discipline, but they also handed a couple goals to the Capitals too.

    The Southeast can’t be judged in one game for all the teams, but Carolina and Washington didn’t start things off very pretty.

  8. gotampabay52 - Jan 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Tampa just flat out smacked yeah in the mouth so washed up wash fans suck it you suck

  9. rockthered1286 - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Gotta love the outlandish smack talk from Bolts fans after ONE GAME. go ahead and give a brand new HC (not just to this team but first time in the NHL) less than one week to implement a brand new system, move your star from LW to RW and get everyone on new lines that’s not used to working together (MoJo up top, Rib in line 2 etc) and tell me how you can say the Caps are terrible after one game? You want pathetic? Pathetic is making bold assumptions after 60 minutes of ice time have gone by in the season…

    And if your gonna call out 8 please mention how Stamkos was held in check as well.

  10. polegojim - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Wow… how quickly the Caps became…. lower case….

    I don’t hate the Caps… I hate the perennial hype… with nothing to show for hit.

  11. mp1131211 - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Holtby was really slow to recover and get back in position. Seemed to me to be more of an attitude or mental thing than straight up skills. He was still in practice mode!

  12. jrocknstuff - Jan 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    The only goal I fault Holtby on is the first one. That was not a great shot by Brewer, but Holtby failed to get into position. Honestly, for allowing 6 goals he wasn’t all that bad, however he will need to show better rebound control moving forward

  13. capsfan19 - Jan 20, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Our first line needed to score. 10 shots in the first period?? Shouldve monopolized on the power play.
    Lindback was much better than when we faced him last in nashville

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