Nearly six years ago, a 21-year-old Braden Holtby first met an 18-year-old Evgeny Kuznetsov at Caps development camp. Their relationship began somewhat rocky, as the competitive Holtby once slashed Kuznetsov in the calf after celebrating a scrimmage goal.
Fast forward to Tuesday night and the two talented teammates appear to have become close friends, as seen by an interaction that happened after Kuznetsov scored his 16th goal of the season. Kings coach Darryl Sutter challenged the call on the ice, and Kuzy skated over to the bench and chatted with Holtby, who was given a rare night off.
You have to see what happened.
— Tom Kaz (@pikappkaz) February 17, 2016
Kuznetsov tells Holtby a joke. Holtby, who does not seem to hear, responds, “What’s that?” Kuznetsov repeats and they both laugh.
After they watch a replay of the goal on the jumbotron, Kuznetsov, hiding his mouth under his glove, grins. Holtby cracks up. Oh, to be a fly on the glass.
This comes a few months after Holtby had these nice things to say about Kuznetsov.
“He has the ability to be a top-five player in this league,” Holtby said. “With the amount of poise, skill, and commitment to getting better [he has], it’s amazing to watch him every day. He’s a great teammate and he’s huge for us.”
Lately it seems like this Caps odd couple has been spending a lot of time with each other — like at the 2016 All-Star Game in Nashville.
I just love the fear in Holtby’s eyes when he sees that Kuznetsov has a video camera.
In conclusion: Kuznetsov and Holtby are really clicking. When you’re as talented as these two, you have to be a little wacky.
— Michelle (@heremeeshtweets) February 17, 2016
And both of these guys have that in spades.
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