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Holtby to start; ‘banged up’ Ovechkin questionable

Jan 21, 2014, 11:25 AM EST

Braden Holtby Getty Images

Hey, remember last week when we wondered when Braden Holtby would get his next start in goal for the Washington Capitals? Well, looks like we have our answer — tonight versus Ottawa.

Holtby hasn’t started since Jan. 4, when he allowed five goals on just 11 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Wild. He also gave up five goals in each of his previous two starts, on Dec. 17 and 21.

Granted, Holtby was relatively solid in a pair of relief performances, on Friday and Sunday, after rookie Phillip Grubauer, now in the minors, was pulled. But the Caps have lost five straight and have just two wins in their last 11. If they’re going to keep giving up so many shots, they’re going to need better goaltending in order to get back into a playoff position. Or, they could not give up so many shots. Or, even, a bit of both.

And all that goes double if Alex Ovechkin isn’t able to suit up versus the Senators. As of now, he’s a game-time decision.

“He got a little banged up against the Rangers,” coach Adam Oates said, per the Washington Post. “He knows his body, he’s been hurt before. He knows whether he can go. We’ll decide tonight, he’s been getting treatments. [We’ll] come in tonight and see.”

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    maybe 8 needs to take a rest, let the rest of the team bear some of the responsibility and force them to step it up. they won the 2 games ovechkin missed earlier this year by a total of 10-2 in the scoring department.

    • joey4id - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Dang! Then they should just trade him.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      yeah i wouldnt go that far. all i meant was maybe when you have a guy like ovechkin or crosby on your team, you can have a tendency to take a shift or two off because you can usually figure that he will factor in for a timely goal. consciously or not, i think it happens.

  2. lowenni - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    HOLTBEAST

  3. jrus14 - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Hopefully ovechkin will be able to participate in tonight’s game go ovechkin

  4. ednacrabapple - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Is it just me, or has Holtby not been the same since he was attacked by Ray Emery.

    • adlent - Jan 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      It is just you. Holtby and Emery fought on 11/1. Holtby posted a .933 SV% that month and about a 2.40 GAA.

      His woes didn’t start until December. The Caps played some pretty bad defense and he started seeing less ice time.

    • cliffatola - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      Actually Kolzig has been messing with Holtby’ positioning coaching him to stay deeper in the net saying he has been susceptible to back door goals. Shockingly enough all of these articles never once mention how bad the Capitals blue line is.

  5. cspsrbums - Jan 21, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Holtby better step if and stop his pace of 3+ goals a game. But my bet is he will be sitting within the next 10 games

  6. cspsrbums - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Holt by started and finish like usual let in 2 soft goals. One on his short side again. His legs looked like they broke on the first goal and he was so faked out on the breakaway that rolled off the guys stick should have been 3-0

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