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Caps’ Holtby admits confidence is shaken after 5-3 loss to Wild

Jan 5, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

Ryan Suter, Braden Holtby, Mike Green AP

Giving up five goals is hard for any goalie. Giving up five goals in just 11 shots makes for a nightmare. That’s just what happened to Capitals goalie Braden Holtby last night against the Minnesota Wild.

Holtby was making his first start since December 21 after seeing Philipp Grubauer take hold of the starting job in the meantime. Coming back and getting lit up the way he did last night wasn’t great for his confidence as Katie Carrera of The Washington Post shares.

“It’s all about getting the confidence back, somehow some way,” Holtby said. “If I’m full of confidence I guess I make that fifth goal save that one that could really keep us in the game. That’s the one I really don’t like. That’s the one I need to have. The other four, do what you want on them. Maybe I play them differently maybe they still go in, who knows. But that fifth one is something – I’ll work on the 2-on-1s and make sure I’m better and work on screens obviously.”

It’s always the last one that sticks in your craw, isn’t it?

The loss was Holtby’s third in a row and he’s given up five goals in all three of those starts. With starts coming more sporadically of late, this could mean coach Adam Oates defers to Grubauer or even Michal Neuvirth to get something going for his team.

  1. letsgopens8771 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    That’s the number 1 thing NOT to do if you are a goalie. Even if you are rattled, don’t say so, because that sends a message to skilled teams , other coaches, and everyone in the Caps organization that you don’t have what it takes anymore. And he doesn’t. Holtby is certainly the issue in Washington as well as the lack of defense.

  2. lowenni - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Normally for a goalie I’d say this is just a phase, but the thing that’s been Holtby’s trademark is that he’s always been unfazable under pressure. If he had a bad game, he always bounced right back after. I’m sure he’ll figure it out, but it’s perplexing as to why his confidence is suddenly shakable. Maybe it was the distraction of making team Canada, but I think it was losing Oates’ confidence this past month.

  3. jrocknstuff - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Why should his confidence be shaken. He played great! He only allowed half of Minnesota’s first 10 shots to go in. His save percentage this season is every bit as pathetic as his play suggests. Kolzig used to keep us in games with defenses much worse than this. People continue to want to blame the defenders, but at some point the blame needs to shift to Holtby. It’s time for Grubauer to be given an extended look as the #1.

  4. dcfan4life - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Hes not gonna play for a while. I dont see how this performance on top of 15 goals in his last 3 games, plenty of them stoppable, can warrant a start anytime soon.

  5. 19to77 - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    “The other four, do what you want on them. Maybe I play them differently maybe they still go in, who knows.”

    Welp. Queue Grubauer up for another two weeks of starting.

  6. purpleguy - Jan 5, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    The goalie that let in the lousy goal last night was the Wild’s Backstrom — most of the Wild’s goals were on the PP or a 2 on 1.

  7. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    People talk about the Flyers revolving door at goalie but since Kolzig retired the Caps have gone through Brent Johnson, Cristobal Huet, Varlamov, Neuvirth, Theodore, Bacashahiua, Sabourin, Holtby, and now Grubauer (in many different orders, plus a few others). Can’t say they haven’t been successful but the Caps are right there with the Flyers in moves in the crease.

  8. jrocknstuff - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    That’s a good point. Bacashihua never played for the Caps in the regular season, only Hershey….but still a very valid point.

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