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Holtby agrees with goalie pad reductions: ‘We should be athletes, not robots’

Sep 18, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

Braden Holtby Getty Images

Braden Holtby has a pretty interesting opinion on the NHL’s reduction of goalie equipment size.

“I think it was [necessary],” the Caps netminder told CSN Washington. “I feel like we should be athletes, not robots, guys that use extra protection to stop the puck.

“I think we should rely on our athleticism, our reactions and our mental game.”

The topic of modified goalie gear — specifically, the two-inch reduction in leg pad height — has been a hot one. James Reimer said the new gear felt “really different,” and Jason LaBarbera was “blown away” by the changes.

Martin Brodeur, in a bit of gamesmanship, said the changes wouldn’t affect him very much, while not-so-subtly taking aim at Henrik Lundqvist‘s (alleged) oversized kneepads.

What every goalie seemed to agree on, though, s the need to change their style of play to some degree.

Holtby’s comments took that line of thinking a step further. He’s not just saying the “let the pads stop the puck” approach is on its way out — he’s saying it shouldn’t have been in to start with.

“The smaller the gear can be without giving up protection is the best,” Holtby explained. “I may be on my own on this in the goalie world, but that’s how I feel.

“It should be more about being an athlete and less about guys around a computer at a factory.”

  1. peterjohnjoseph - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    This is the best response I’ve heard a goalie give thus on the topic of pads. If this were the 70’s or 80’s, goalies would be relying much more on speed and movement than pad size, hell, the pads were so thin there was a completely different style to the position. Remember stacking the pads on slides literally every other shot? I think goalies are scared more than anything that maybe they don’t have the ability once you take that away. I would be. It’s an unknown. I just don’t believe the 2 inches will bring them back 30-40 years though.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      This could possibly be the most ignorant and uneducated reply I’ve ever seen.

      • yustasayin - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Hey pal…..Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.

      • hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:30 AM

        No he’s right, guys with position-specific coaching since youth leagues, who train year round with performance-specific trainers and coaches, who eat properly year round, and are paid enough money to focus only on their sport are much worse than the players of thirty years ago.

        You know, the guys who used training camp to get in shape because during the summer they worked other job.

    • blomfeld - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Very true friend and well stated. My favorite goalie in the 70’s was of course none other than Rogie Vachon who was famous for his ‘cat like’ reflexes ! :)

  2. antkowiak666 - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    how about putting a pic of Holtby instead of Neuvirth??

    • ibieiniid - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM


    • westinpat - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      It’s a Capitals goalie at least.

    • antkowiak666 - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      hey look…it’s Holtby!!

  3. dipthatchip - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Lolz at picture of number 30. So close, haha

  4. matt14gg - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Another reason to love this guy. He’s a great goalie and he’s absolutely right.

    • capsneed2points - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      I think they should have changed sizes of chest protectors/shoulder pads also. Some goalies look like stick figures in street clothes but in goal they look like the Michelin man.

  5. colby7 - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Agreed, I think goaltending has gotten boring.
    Nowadays a good save is when a goalie cuts down an angle and the shooter can’t even see any net. I would love to see more goalies that play like Thomas and actually move around to stop pucks.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Where do you people come from? Do you complain when guys go bar down on a snipe because they’re too accurate with their shots?

  6. titansbro - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Couldn’t agree more.

  7. kingsforever - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    You guys do know that Jonathan Quick is the only starter that DOES NOT have to reduce his pad size? He was the only starter who’s pads were already in compliance with the “pad must be a smaller percentage of your height” rule.

    • hockeydon10 - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      [citation needed]

    • capsneed2points - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:43 AM

      I think they should have changed sizes of chest protectors/shoulder pads also. Some goalies look like stick figures in street clothes but in goal they look like the Michelin man.

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