The NHL on Saturday named Caps goalie Braden Holtby one of the three finalists for the 2016-17 Vezina Trophy, which recognizes the league’s best regular-season goaltender. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens are the other two finalists.
Holtby won the Vezina last year. If he wins again this year, he’ll be the first player to win it back-to-back since Martin Brodeur did it in 2007 and 2008.
Nathan Sick wrote about Holtby’s chances for a repeat back in February. At the time, his toughest competition was Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild. But Dubnyk faltered late in the season and isn’t among this year’s finalists after all.
The Caps announced the news on Instagram.
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Here’s more from the Caps.
The National Hockey League announced today that Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, which is an annual award given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Montreal goaltender Carey Price have also been nominated. The 2017 NHL Awards will be held on Wednesday, June 21, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Holtby won his first career Vezina Trophy in 2015-16 and is aiming to become the 11th goaltender in NHL history to win the award in consecutive seasons. He became the third goaltender in franchise history to with the Vezina Trophy last season, joining Jim Carey (1995-96) and Olie Kolzig (1999-00), and is aiming to become the first goaltender in Capitals history to win the award twice.
Holtby posted a 42-13-6 record in 2016-17 with nine shutouts, a 2.07 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native led the NHL in shutouts (9) this season, ranked tied for first in wins (42), second in goals-against average (2.07) and fourth in save percentage (.925). Holtby captured the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2016-17, given to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it. This season marked the fewest goals Washington has allowed in an 82-game season in franchise history (182) and the second time the Capitals have won the Jennings Trophy. Al Jensen and Pat Riggin combined to win the award for Washington in 1983-84.
Holtby has posted 40-wins in three consecutive seasons (2014-15: 41, 2015-16: 48), joining Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10) as the only goaltenders in NHL history to record three straight 40-win seasons. In addition, Holtby is the sixth goaltender in NHL history to post three career 40-win seasons, joining Brodeur (8), Miikka Kiprusoff (3), Nabokov (3), Jacques Plante (3) and Terry Sawchuk (3). Holtby, 27, is the second-youngest goaltender to record three 40-win seasons, trailing Sawchuk (25). His 42 wins in 2016-17 are the second-most in Capitals history and he has posted three of the top-four winningest seasons by a goaltender in franchise history.
The 6’2”, 217-pound goaltender stopped all 24 shots he faced against the Rangers on April 5 to earn his ninth shutout of the season, tying himself (2014-15) and Jim Carey (1995-96) for the most shutouts in a season in franchise history. He is the 19th goaltender in NHL history to post two seasons with nine or more shutouts and he and Henrik Lundqvist (2007-08, 2010-11) are the only active goaltenders to do so. In addition, Holtby recorded consecutive shutouts for the first time in his career this season (1/5-1/7), including a career-long 169:12 shutout streak (1/3-1/9). This season marked the sixth time a Capitals goaltender has led the NHL in shutouts and the first time since Jim Carey in 1995-96 (9).
Holtby posted a 14-game winning streak from Jan. 1 to Feb. 11, tying the second-longest winning streak in NHL history (Gilles Gilbert: 17-0-0, 1975-76) and marking the longest winning streak in Capitals history. He also posted a 21-game point streak from Dec. 29 to March 4 (19-0-2), marking the third-longest point streak in franchise history, trailing Jose Theodore in 2009-10 (20-0-3) and himself last season (20-0-2). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Holtby joined Pete Peeters as the only goalies in NHL history to post two single-season unbeaten streaks of 20 or more decisions. Peeters registered a 27-decision streak for the Flyers in 1979–80 (22–0–5) and a 31-decision streak for the Bruins in 1982–83 (26–0–5).
Holtby led the NHL and won a franchise-record 27 home games in 2016-17, passing the previous mark set by Olie Kolzig in 1999-00 (25-7-8) and himself last season (25-3-3). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Holtby is the first goaltender to win 25 home games in two straight seasons since Martin Brodeur did so in an NHL record three consecutive seasons (2005-08).
Holtby played in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles, marking his second consecutive All-Star Game selection. He joined Olie Kolzig (1997-98, 1999-00) as the only goaltenders in franchise history to be selected to two All-Star Games. Holtby ranks first in franchise history in career goals-against average (2.31) and save percentage (.922) and ranks second in shutouts (32), wins (191) and games played (307). Holtby, who was drafted by the Capitals in the fourth round, 93rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft and was the 10th goaltender selected, ranks first among goaltenders in the 2008 Draft class in wins and games played. Since 2012-13, Holtby leads the NHL in wins (177) and shutouts (29).
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