By Chris Gordon
Three years after being relegated to third-string duty under Adam Oates, Braden Holtby is now a finalist for the the top award at his position. Wednesday night, we learned that the league’s general managers, who vote on the award, named Holtby as one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy for his performance in the regular-season. The honor is given “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position.”
“Holtby equaled a single-season NHL record with 48 wins, tying the mark set by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2006-07, to backstop the Capitals to the 2015-16 Presidents’ Trophy as the League’s top regular-season club,” the NHL wrote in a press release announcing the finalists. “Holtby, who tied a franchise record with 41 victories in 2014-15, became the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons – and the first to do since San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov from 2007-09 (3x). The first-time Vezina finalist ranked fifth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.20), sixth in saves (1,661) and eighth in save percentage (.922).”
Ben Bishop (35-21-4, 2.06 goals-against average, .926 save percentage) and Jonathan Quick (40-23-5, 2.22 goals-against average, .916 save percentage are the other finalists. Holtby finished fourth in Vezina voting last year. Two Capitals goalies, Jim Carey (1995-96) and Olie Kolzig (1999-00), previously won the award. The winner will be announced during the NHL Awards show on June 22.
Congrats to @Holts170 – finalist for the 2015-16 Vezina Trophy. #HoltBeast #VezinaBeast #Holtby4Vezinahttps://t.co/SIgm6rkPEX
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 27, 2016
If you want a list of all of Holtby’s crazy stats, the Caps have you covered:
Holtby (66 games played) secured his 48th win of the season in 12 fewer games than Brodeur (78 games played).
Holtby’s 48 wins also mark the Capitals franchise record for wins in a season, breaking the previous record (41) set by himself last season and Olie Kolzig in 1999-00. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native posted a 22-game point streak from Nov. 12 to Jan. 14 (20-0-2), marking the second-longest point streak by a goaltender in franchise history and only the second point streak of 22 or more games in the NHL in the last 20 seasons. Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore posted a franchise-record 23-game point streak during the 2009-10 season (20-0-3). In addition, Holtby was the first goaltender to win 27 games in a 32-game stretch (11/12-2/11: 27-1-3) since 1995-96, when Chris Osgood did so with the Red Wings (11/22/95-3/20/96: 27-3-2). He is the 13th goaltender in NHL history to post multiple 40-win seasons (2014-15: 41, 2015-16: 48) and is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons.
Holtby has posted a 149-60-25 record with 23 shutouts, a 2.37 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 244 career NHL games with Washington. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, he ranks first among NHL goaltenders in wins (135) and tied for second in shutouts (20). Holtby, drafted by Washington in the fourth round, 93rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft, was the 10th goaltender selected in the 2008 NHL Draft. He has earned more wins and shutouts than the nine goaltenders drafted before him combined. In addition, Holtby is the third goaltender in franchise history to register 100 wins with the Capitals (Kolzig, Don Beaupre) and became the fastest goaltender in franchise history to reach the 100-win plateau, earning the mark in 176 games. He ranks tied for third among active goaltenders in fewest games needed to reach 100 career wins and his 118 wins through his first 200 career games ranks first among active goaltenders. Holtby ranks first in franchise history in save percentage, tied for first in goals-against average, second in wins and shutouts and third in games played.
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