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Capitals are sticking with Holtby as starter

Jun 17, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT

Braden Holtby Getty Images

Washington goaltender Braden Holtby endured a rough 2013-14 campaign where he appeared to lose the starting job at various times to rookie Philipp Grubauer and trade acquisition Jaroslav Halak. Despite that, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan remains committed to starting next season with Holtby as the team’s number one goaltender.

MacLellan thinks they can get more out of Holtby next season and he suggested that former coach Adam Oates’ policies might have been partially responsible for Holtby’s decline.

“I think there was coaching philosophy change that (Holtby) wasn’t totally comfortable with,” MacLellan told the Washington Post. “I think it changed a little bit throughout the season. Circumstances might have affected his play throughout last year.”

That meshes with Holtby’s assertion in April that Oates’ desire to have goaltenders play deeper in the crease didn’t coincide with his natural instincts.

MacLellan does plan on adding a backup goaltender over the summer though so that 22-year-old Grubauer can get plenty of playing time in the minors.

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