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Caps stand up for Holtby after devastating Game 7 blowout

May 14, 2013, 9:51 AM EDT

Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers celebrates after Michael Del Zotto #4 (not pictured) scored in the second period against Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.
(May 12, 2013 - Source: Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

This wasn’t a bad series for Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, but he didn’t look particularly impressive Washington’s 5-0 loss in Game 7 against the New York Rangers.

Holtby didn’t try to hide from that after his team was eliminated.

“We didn’t put in the right effort for a Game 7 win. Everyone, especially myself,” Holtby told CSN Washington.

At the same time, it’s hard to criticize your netminder when you go two straight games without scoring a single goal. The Washington Capitals certainly tried to deflect the blame off of their 23-year-old goaltender.

“I think he’s been playing great the whole series and the whole season. He’s a young, talented goalie and without him we wouldn’t be here in the playoffs today,” said Nicklas Backstrom. “He’s not the reason we lost. It’s me, myself and the other players.”

24-year-old defenseman Karl Alzner added that Holtby “did everything we asked him to do.”

Holtby has already been in three Game 7s and through 21 career postseason contests, he has a 2.04 GAA and .931 save percentage. Perhaps these tough series early in his NHL tenure will help him down the road, but as a team the Capitals will need to do a lot of soul searching after this coming up short yet again in the playoffs.


Discuss: Rangers crush Capitals in Game 7

Capitals’ Green: ‘This is the best team we’ve been on’

Caps’ Backstrom: We need to learn how to play in the playoffs

  1. jpelle82 - May 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    wasnt holtby’s fault…puck off a skate, no stick lift on a rebound, 2 breakaways once the game was 3-0 already – he was hung out to dry and caught some bad luck. his play early in the series is the reason they made it to game seven, especially after ovechkin line stopped scoring after game 2 and all the penalties called against the caps. nothing to be ashamed of.

    • ravenscaps48 - May 14, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Not his fault at all. Once the game got to 3-0, the Caps absolutely stopped playing. He was on an island all alone

      • ravenscaps48 - May 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        Lundqvist is amazing and deserved to advance. Not that Holtby isn’t, but the Rangers withstood the storm in the first period, and just flat out wanted it more the rest of the way.

      • 950003cups - May 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        Sure when you’re down by 3 goals in the 3rd period in a game seven, its best to give up because its over.

        Anyone watch the Leafs beat up on the Bruins last night? I turned it off halfway through the 3rd at 4-1… Those poor Bruins fans. Too bad they were down by 3 goals otherwise they could’ve had a chance to win it maybe at worst case in OT.

      • jpelle82 - May 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        good point. but they have leadership in boston and they have a guy named bergeron on their team.

      • ravenscaps48 - May 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        And Henrik Lunqvist is far more superior to James Reimer… No way were the Caps getting three goals past him with the way both teams were defending (Caps bad, Rangers great)

  2. ibieiniid - May 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I think even if the Caps could have beaten Lundy last night, that wasn’t Holtby’s game to win. he over-committed to the point shot on the 2nd goal. and the 3rd goal, the real backbreaker IMO, he saw the shot going high, went for a high save, and forgot to still hold the butterfly form on the lower half of his body. pads tight together, regardless of where the initial shot was going would have made a save there. after that goal, i believe there was two pipes and that one that trickled wide to Holtby’s right. he got shook early on and never got his head back into that game.

    but he’s young and has plenty of good years in front of him. I’d just like to see him fix that overconfidence he seems to have and realize he’s playing against the best in the world. show shooters a bit of respect and you’ll make more saves… or at least be in the right position to make them.

  3. fivetozeroingame7 - May 14, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that’s cute. Too bad the fans bailed before the 3rd period.

    • goodellisruiningtheleague - May 14, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      I was at the game with a buddy and we stayed until the end. When everyone started leaving in the third period we just started laughing.

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 14, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Holtby is not to blame for sure. The Caps goal scorers have to plead mea culpa. There was a goose egg below “Caps” on the scoreboard. Nothing Holtby can do about that. Even if he only gives up one goal they still loose.

  5. stakex - May 14, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Actually, as good as Holtby played in the series, I would say that he is in fact directly responsible for the loss last night. Now the last four goals might not have really been his fault, but the first one was… and it was a huge moment in the game. The Caps were pouring it on in the first period. They came out swinging and had total control of the play… and then Holtby allowed a soft goal. Sure it was a good shot by Asham, but a slap shot from that far out with no screen should be stopped almost every time by a decent goalie. That soft goal changed the complexion of the game completely, and then a good bounce and some poor play by the Caps defense blew the game open in the second.

    If that first softy doesn’t go in, perhaps the Caps would have continued to carry the play. Instead it sparked the Rangers and they all but took over the game. That one shot was huge, and it was a bad goal by Holtby.

  6. rpiotr01 - May 14, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    That’s the thing about a Game 7 – anything can happen. Rangers had been finding it impossible to score in DC and bounces weren’t going their way for goals all series. Now they get a couple tips, lucky rebounds and seeing eye shots and there you have it, 5-0. That’s why you try to avoid Game 7.

  7. tfaltin - May 14, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    You can’t look too much at game 7. Holtby won a 1-0 OT game, a 2-1 OT game, and lost game 6 1-0. If the players in front of you can’t take advantage of performances like that, it’s on them. Good on Backstrom to show some accountability.

  8. banger60 - May 14, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Ovechkin, hitting everyone in sight was your plan, oops, wrong, you have to score goals, or try to, bad plan, now go home and cry on your mothers shoulder, you suck! GO RANGERS!!!!!

  9. rsl22 - May 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Holtby was anointed “The Chosen One” after beating the Bruins last year and can do no wrong. But as a Caps fan, he had a terrible game. The first and third goals NEED to be stopped in the playoffs. The team went limp after Holtby gave up the goal to Asham. They were playing great, but that killed them.

    In the 4 losses, he had a 3.75 GAA and .879 S%. That includes a 1 goal game.

    Having said that, Rangers deserve credit for putting the pedal down and taking advantage of them. They played a much better game overall, Hank was outstanding as always, and they deserved the W. Another GD May collapse from my Caps. Every damn year….

    • 950003cups - May 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      “The first and third goals NEED to be stopped in the playoffs. The team went limp after Holtby gave up the goal to Asham.”

      You do know that Asham scored the first goal, right? A playoff team goes limp after one (1st period) goal in a game seven? That team needs a gut check. It’s the 2nd game seven they choked against the rangers in consecutive years.

      • rsl22 - May 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Yes, I do know that Asham scored the first goal…..that’s why I said the team went limp after it.

        If you’ve ever played, you know what a demoralizing goal can do to a team. It’s not just hockey, it’s any sport, the team that makes the first mistake is going to lose 90% of the time. That goal was a mistake. Holtby needs to save it. The Rangers got life and they cruised after it.

      • 950003cups - May 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        No I’ve never played. So it was my mistake when I just figured that when its a winner-take-all game in your building, a goal in the first period shouldn’t collapse your moral. But now that I got expertise from someone who played the game, I now realize how that makes no sense to fight on. I’ll go spread the gospel now.

  10. 950003cups - May 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Blame the goalie. That’s always the easy part. Especially since he gave up that 5th goal. Caps were just about to run their famous 4 Goal play.

    • barkar942 - May 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Ok. Blame the goalie.
      Bryz did it!
      Holtby is a good young goalie. This is only his second year, I believe?
      If he continues to develop and gets more defensive help in front of him, he will be one of the top 5 in the league down the road.

  11. dabutcha114 - May 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Ovi hit everything this series except for the back of the net. Caps didn’t even show up game 7. All you cap fans that had us down and out game 2, should bow down to the King. 3 shutouts in a playoff series is pathetic. Now sit back and watch losers!

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