Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
During the course of an 82-game season, every team goes through periods where they just don’t play well. Recently, one of those teams has been the Washington Capitals, who are ranked 20th in score-adjusted possession over the past 30 days.
Luckily for the Caps, they have one of the best goalies on the planet who also happens to be playing the best hockey of his career. Over the past 30 days, Holtby has posted a 95.82 percent save percentage during 5v5 play. This ranks first among the 26 goalies who have played 360-plus minutes during that time.
Just how good of a run is this, for a goalie we already knew is among the league’s best at stopping pucks? Here’s his career, 10-game rolling save percentage at 5v5.
Save for a very small sample at the start of his career, Holtby has never played better. Not even during his excellent 2014-15 campaign did Holtby string together play like he has lately. Nick Backstrom agrees.
Nicklas Backstrom (1 goal, 2 assists) on Braden Holtby (44 saves): 'To be honest I haven't seen him any better than this.' #CapitalsTalk
— Chuck Gormley (@CharlesAGormley) December 15, 2015
Just for fun, here’s Henrik Lundqvist’s numbers since 2010 compared to Holtby’s.
The Caps are a better team than we’ve seen lately, but having an elite goalie like Holtby to cover the downturns sure is nice. Building on of his great 2014-15 season, Holtby’s recent run has firmly entrenched him as one of the favorites to win the Vezina Trophy in 2015-16.
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