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Posted at 8:31 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Braden Holtby bounces back against Islanders

By Katie Carrera

Goaltender Braden Holtby's previous call up to Washington didn't quite end as he would have liked it to. The 21 year old allowed three goals in five shots, in nine minutes, against Atlanta on Nov. 19 then was in net for the duration of Washington's 5-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 22. Granted he didn't get the entire support of his teammates on those occasions, it's a tough memory to be sent back down to the AHL with.

But with 24 saves and a 2-1 win over the Islanders Thursday night, Holtby got a confidence boost even if he wasn't quite as perfect as he would have liked to be.

"Obviously [the previous starts are] in the back of my head for sure," Holtby said. "I wanted to make sure that the next time I got an opportunity up here -- that's not usually how I play those last two games that I was up here -- I showed what I can do. Still I don't know if I prepared myself perfectly yet, I had a lot of lucky bounces go my way but sometimes you need those."

Facing six power play chances for the Islanders and protecting a one-goal lead for over half the game, Holtby stood his ground well after giving up one goal. The lone tally Holtby allowed, by New York's Michael Grabner was a shot he had seen before, when the Islanders' winger was back with the Manitoba Moose two seasons ago. "If I had another chance," Holtby said, "I'd make sure he doesn't score on that move."

Coach Bruce Boudreau enjoyed seeing Holtby respond from the disappointment of his previous call up so well, because although it's been two months he knows those types of games stick with players.

"It really shows mental toughness because he's come off two games -- the 5-0 Jersey game and the 5-0 Atlanta game -- that then you go back to the minors and you say: 'Geez am I ever going to be able to play again?'" Boudreau said. "And he comes in here and confidence wise he looks at that [win] and he goes: 'Great I know I can play in the NHL again. It happens all the time where you doubt yourself when you leave on a bad note. It was a great moment for him."

By Katie Carrera  | January 21, 2011; 8:31 AM ET
Categories:  Braden Holtby  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps score early, shut Islanders down to win, 2-1
Next: Bruce Boudreau: Chimera 'looking pretty good' on line with Ovechkin, Backstrom

Comments

Start ridding the Euros/Russians...

Start with Semin...trade him to ottawa for Mike Fisher...

Then trade either Nervous or Styrophoam Groin Varly.

The only Euro/Russians we keep are:

Johansson
Backs
Optional
Kuzen
And 1 goalie.

Get Andrew Gordon back up here.

And I am really REALLY liking Matt Hendricks...

Replace 5 minute man with Matt Bradley (when he gets back) and we are good to go!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 21, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

SinkingCaps: Poor post. You get an "F."

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 21, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Why is it a poor post? If Ottawa is going to purge as reported they ARE NOT going to take a guy that they are unsure will resign, or that they even want to resign for the $$ he is probably going to get. These are the kind of player move suggestions that are suggested that are not well thought out at all. If anything Ottawa would take draft picks or a combo of draft picks and prospects for Fisher.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 21, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Why is it a poor post? If Ottawa is going to purge as reported they ARE NOT going to take a guy that they are unsure will resign, or that they even want to resign for the $$ he is probably going to get. These are the kind of player move suggestions that not well thought out at all. If anything Ottawa would take draft picks or a combo of draft picks and prospects for Fisher. He can probably be had for a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 21, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, I tried to halt the original.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 21, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Soaring Caps gets an F for hockey knowledge and an F for humour. I don't know which is worse.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 21, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I missed it somewhere. Are we talking Fisher for picks or Spezza for Semin?

I would trade Semin and a pick/or prosepct for Spezza. This would allow Ottawa to clear cap space since Spezza has a few more years on his deal. Semin is a UFA.

But adding Fisher is more the type of deal we need to make: gritty, leader, scoring touch and a celebrity wife! DC is closer to Nashville. Wouldn't it be great to have Pat Sajak AND Carrie Underwood at the games?!

I think we should get Jason Arnott as well. I think he could be obtained for a few picks. Veteran leadership and some moxie.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 21, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

If there is a chance to bring Fisher to Washington, I would hope GMGM would make it happen. Fisher, Laich and Knuble would be an absolutely deadly playoff line. If Fisher could be obtained for a couple of picks and a good prospect, then the Caps would be a deadly, deadly team. Imagine this line up on opening night.

OV - Backstrom - Semin
Laich - Fisher - Knuble
Chimmy - MaJo - Fehr
Brads - Gordo - Hendricks

I would say that if (and it's a decent sized if) the Caps could get Fisher, they would be in a VERY solid position for a major playoff run.

Posted by: Aldred15 | January 21, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"Who can deny the positive influence DJK had on the game? Everyone saw how both goals we scored happened the shift right after DJK and linemates had impressive shifts with extended zone time, some good cycling and grinding going on. I know he had at least one heavy hit"

Vermont,

All that in 3:25 of ice time? Holy crap, what could he do with 8 minutes?

(before people start chirping, please note that the above is sarcasm and not me advocating an increase in DJK's ice time)

Also Vermont, at what point did DJK have a heavy hit? I don't recall seeing it & the event summary didn't credit him with a hit. 6 shifts, 3:25 ice time and goose eggs for stats after that. Since your DVR probably got abused with you rewinding back to the hit, what was the time mark of the game?

Posted by: Steve_R | January 21, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I find this obsession with DJK mystifying. He has a role on this team, and that is as its enforcer. He wasn't brought in to score goals or man the point on the PP. To credit him for having a hand in the 2 goals we scored is fine, but I believe there were many others on the team that contributed more to those goals than he did. This is not an individual sport. Its a team sport. The Caps played like a team last night. I just don't see how a guy with limited offense who played just 3+ minutes had such an overwhelming impact on the game. Perhaps it was the vocal leadership from the bench?

As for Erksine, I have to say he has played his best hockey this year. He is skating better, shooting more, jumping into the play. Add those things to his physical game and he's played great this year. No argument there. Hope he keeps it up.

However, vermontcaps' unhealthy infatuation with DJK and Erskine gives me pause. It goes far beyond my man-crush for John Druce that goes back to the 1988 season. And that's saying something...

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 21, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I find this obsession with DJK mystifying. He has a role on this team, and that is as its enforcer. He wasn't brought in to score goals or man the point on the PP. To credit him for having a hand in the 2 goals we scored is fine, but I believe there were many others on the team that contributed more to those goals than he did. This is not an individual sport. Its a team sport. The Caps played like a team last night. I just don't see how a guy with limited offense who played just 3+ minutes had such an overwhelming impact on the game. Perhaps it was the vocal leadership from the bench?

As for Erksine, I have to say he has played his best hockey this year. He is skating better, shooting more, jumping into the play. Add those things to his physical game and he's played great this year. No argument there. Hope he keeps it up.

However, vermontcaps' unhealthy infatuation with DJK and Erskine is very concerning. It goes far beyond my man-crush for John Druce that goes back to the 1988 season. (for the record, Druce was my favorite player before his 1990 playoff heroics because he wore #19, my number from my youth soccer and basketball days). Of course, I was 12 back then.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 21, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

People have been speaking of Semin and when he may return. My guess is that he comes back after the All-Star break.

With only two games remaining after the road trip, they might as well keep Semin out and let him rest through the All-Star break. That will allow him until February 1st to come back. That would seem to make the most sense.

Clearly, if he is unable physically to come back by February 1st you hold him out longer. But even if he is starting to feel a little better now, I would hold him out until after the All-Star break.

I think that they would sit Neuvy through the All-Star break as well.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

If anything Ottawa would take draft picks or a combo of draft picks and prospects for Fisher. He can probably be had for a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Posted by: fanohock1

It is going to take more than a 2nd or 3rd round pick to get Fisher. Remember, he doesn't have an expiring contract so there is no need for Ottawa to get rid of him.

I would think it would take somewhere near what a poster suggestes yesterday. Eakin, BGordon and a 3rd round pick.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

OV - Backstrom - Semin
Laich - Fisher - Knuble
Chimmy - MaJo - Fehr
Brads - Gordo - Hendricks

I would say that if (and it's a decent sized if) the Caps could get Fisher, they would be in a VERY solid position for a major playoff run.

Posted by: Aldred15

If the new 1st line continues to work then it looks even better:

Ovie/Backstrom/Chimera
Laich/Fisher/Semin
Beagle/MJ/Fehr
Hendricks/(Steckel or BGordon)/Knuble

I hate leaving him out but I don't even know where to put Bradley in.

Also, the last line isn't necessarily the 4th line, it would be the checking line that faces the opposing teams top line so it would probably get more time than te Beagle/MJ/Fehr line.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Fanhock and Gfisher...

Thank you very much for the feedback, and criticism.

We don't need Semin. Yet talented, he is soft. As is Neuvirth/Varly.

Holtby is probably the future, but he's not ready to lead this team into the playoffs.

We need hard working grit. While I would LOVE to see Spezza in a Caps uniform, his contract is like 7mil a year. We would have to dump salary and prospects for him. Fisher is a great fit. Hard worker, can kill penalties and has a bit of an offensive side.

Fehr, Semin, Neuvirth/Varly, and picks are all good trade pieces. You can even throw in a Beagle or A. Gordon in that trade.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 21, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Remember, he doesn't have an expiring contract so there is no need for Ottawa to get rid of him."

---

If Ottawa was looking to rebuild, wouldn't the exact opposite be true? Trading a player like Fisher frees up 4.2m of cap space they have committed for the next two seasons, whereas players who are going to be UFAs next year are automoatically freed up at the end of this season.

I could be wrong, but I always thought that the move for teams trying to rebuild was trading guys with years left on their contracts for guys with expiring ones.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 21, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The real question is...

Do we go with Euro goalie-- Vokun (sp?)

Or

The Canadian who has won a cup and been in 2 cups... Giguere

We need something with experience...

The job is Holtby's next year...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 21, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and SGM...

I agree, let Semin sit as long as possible.

Not because of the obvious, but if he is (unfortunately) going to stay, we need him healthy and back in shape for April, not March.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 21, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

If Ottawa was looking to rebuild, wouldn't the exact opposite be true? Trading a player like Fisher frees up 4.2m of cap space they have committed for the next two seasons, whereas players who are going to be UFAs next year are automoatically freed up at the end of this season.

I could be wrong, but I always thought that the move for teams trying to rebuild was trading guys with years left on their contracts for guys with expiring ones.

Posted by: VTDuffman

You misinterpreted what I was saying. I was saying that since Fisher does not have an expiring contract that don't HAVE to trade him by the deadline.

They will wait for the right move and if the compensation isn't correct they will wait until the offseason when there will be more teams capable of bidding for Fisher's services.

The reason you trade pending UFAs is that you receive compensation for them. If Ottawa doesn't trade them and they leave, Ottawa receives nothing.

If you look at most deadline deals they involve players who are pending UFAs(i.e. Ponikarovsky, Corvo, Belanger, etc.). This is because teams who are out of the race know it is there last chance to get compensation for a player who they may have no desire in re-signing.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"If you look at most deadline deals they involve players who are pending UFAs(i.e. Ponikarovsky, Corvo, Belanger, etc.). This is because teams who are out of the race know it is there last chance to get compensation for a player who they may have no desire in re-signing."

---

Gotcha, Makes sense.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 21, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Still, we have to stop giving up the first goal. It's fine to do so when we play the Isles but against most teams, but the better teams will leave us hoping for an OT loss.

Posted by: Dirtbag359 | January 21, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible we place Poti in Hershey or on long-term IR...that 3.5 mill could be helpful to us.

And poor Matt Hendricks, makes less than DJ King...AND Tyler Sloan....WOW...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 21, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Still, we have to stop giving up the first goal. It's fine to do so when we play the Isles but against most teams, but the better teams will leave us hoping for an OT loss."

---

?

we were up 2-0 before the Isles scored their first goal in the 2nd period.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 21, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

dirt - we scored first last night.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 21, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

I thought DJK played pretty well with steckel and gordo last night. People that know the team (stretch/Vogel) comment a bunch on how good fo a teammate and how hard DJ works. I did see the hit he laid last night which helped them sustain pressure for a minute + in the zone.

Not much else he can do with 3 minutes of ice time a night and a coach that doesn't know how to utilize that type of player

Posted by: _stevo | January 21, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The real question is...

Do we go with Euro goalie-- Vokun (sp?)

Or

The Canadian who has won a cup and been in 2 cups... Giguere

We need something with experience...

The job is Holtby's next year...

Posted by: SoaringCaps

Vokoun or Giggy are not coming to the Caps. They have big contracts and acquiring them would not allow the Caps to acquire a center.

I liked what I saw from Holtby last night but I'm not giving him any job. He has played in about 6 NHL games and looked horrible in 2 of them. He is young so that is not a big deal, but he hasn't won a job yet.

After hearing what Kolzig had to say about Varly(about how amazingly talented he is and that he will be the #1 goalie if he is healthy), and then seeing his play this year, I am convinced Varly will be the #1 guy.

His groin issues are clearly a possible problem and are the only thing to prevent this, but he is extremely talented and seems much more level-headed this year.

If the Caps don't put in a claim on Nabakov, they are not going to go after any goalie this year.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"Still, we have to stop giving up the first goal. It's fine to do so when we play the Isles but against most teams, but the better teams will leave us hoping for an OT loss."

---

?

we were up 2-0 before the Isles scored their first goal in the 2nd period.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 21, 2011 10:06 AM

@VTDuffman

Apparently not everyone watches the games with their eyes open. =) Kind of like when 8 makes a good play, tmac just happens to be getting a snack.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 21, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@ SoaringCaps

I would bet my next pay check that Hendricks gets a nice increase next year and if its not here GMGM is sleeping because you can be assured another team will jump at a chance to sign a guy with his hussel.

Not sure how to say this without it coming off bad but I dont wish anyone ill health and for sure not a blood cloth in their lungs but it looks like GMGM's trade worked out.

Posted by: bqts | January 21, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Fleischmann's health doesn't make the trade any better or worse. It'd still be a good trade even if he stayed healthy and Hannan broke a leg and was out for the season.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 21, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@GFisher1

You are exactly right on the Flash trade. For people to even bring that up when the Flash news broke is kind of sad in my opinion. His condition can be life threatening and people are talking about how good the trade looks now....sorry, I dont get that.

Hopefully the docs out there get him on the right meds and get it figured out. I'd recommend though getting out of the altitude in Colorado. That could be a major factor in his condition.

Posted by: ThePat | January 21, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

We have to give GMGM a win for the Hannan/Flash trade. I think it was a win/win type trade before Flash got sick.
Hendricks isn't complaining about his paycheck, I bet he is really happy just being an NHL player. I expect he makes less than 1 million next year & he still will be happy.
Let's not give Holtby the keys to the car just yet; he played 1 good game. GMGM would be a moron not to put a claim in on Nabokov (if the salary is as reported). I have no problem with not trying to get an experienced goalie for the playoffs but, this situation is a gift. Moot point, he gets claimed before we can get him.


Posted by: chriscaps | January 21, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

My takeaway from last night's game:

On the minus side: They still only really played for 20 minutes.

On the plus side: It was the *first* 20 minutes, they actually entered a game motivated to play in it. It didn't require a 3rd period deficit for them to finally kick into gear. This time they got a lead early and *then* started coasting rather than vice-versa.

Hey, baby steps are still steps when they're being taken in the right direction :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 21, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman,

I have got to disagree with you there, they only allowed 25 shots all game which shows they played a lot more than 20 minutes. I think they just played a smart, defensive game after getting the lead which is what they should be doing.

Posted by: PhilR | January 21, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The real minus is the penalty trouble.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 21, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"The real minus is the penalty trouble."

---

The penalty calling in that game was, I dunno...weird to say the least. There were a couple legit calls (like MP IMHO), but there were some that you looked at and were like "Really? that's a penalty now?"

And it wasn't being called like that both ways.

I will give them credit, the defensive effort was good considering 1/5th of the game basically was played down a man.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 21, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Resident experts: Will Hendricks be a Capital next season?

God, I hope so.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | January 21, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Resident experts: Will Hendricks be a Capital next season?

God, I hope so.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts

Yes he will, but unfortunately the Caps will overpay for him.

Hendricks has been a very good fit for the Caps and they should definitely keep him, but I fear they will overpay him. A guy in his role should make around $800k-$900k/yr. The Caps horribly overpaid for Steckel and I hope they don't do the same for Hendricks.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 21, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, those penalty calls last night were one sided to say the least and there were more than one phantom call amongst them.

Jordan_Kitts,

I certainly hope they resign the guy to around what BGordon makes and that they part ways with BGordon.

Posted by: PhilR | January 21, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Before annoiting Holtby as the one, let's have him play more than 4-5 games.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 21, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Cool. Thanks Guys.

Hedricks seems like a great fit - good locker room presence, scrappy, loyal, energetic.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | January 21, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: "The Caps horribly overpaid for Steckel"
Steckel makes 1.1/1.1/1.1 & is one of the best faceoff men in the league. He is a good defensive 4th center. Look around the league & tell me who is a great upgrade making 1.1m?
Paying Poti 3.5/2.875/2.875 not THAT is a HORRIBLE overpayment! The Rags pay Boogaard 1.7/1.6/1.6/1.6, certainly overpayed.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 21, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Chriscaps,

Konopka makes 600K and runs around 58% on faceoffs. Steckel is overpaid.

Posted by: Steve_R | January 21, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

There are two ways of analyzing last night's game:

LONG VERSION:

--Caps got in too much penalty trouble, but PK was up to the task at 6-for-6; even though the Isles PP had trouble finishing, they moved the puck around better than we have with the extra man, and had a lot of zone time.

--OV no score goal? So what?!?!? Take away the two primary assists he did contribute and Caps lose 1-0.

--Not scoring enough against a basement dweller? Sorry folks, but the Isles team I saw last night was young and fast and much better than their record would indicate. Enough IMHO that the Caps scored first and never trailed.

--Call me crazy, but Boyd Gordon seemed to be playing very strong in the corners.

--Green seemed very solid for most of the game. 52 not scoring a lot? So what?!?!?; when he set the record for consecutive games (8) with a goal by a defenceman two seasons ago, it broke a mark that had stood for 25 years...obviously not something that happens all the time.

--Good to see B├Ąckis break his drought.

--8/19/25 seems to be working better than expected, given that Medusa's Boyfriend was on that line. I kid--all things being equal, I'd rather have Chimera's speed on this team than not.


SHORT VERSION:

Just four words:

CAPS WIN. 'Nuff said!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 21, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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