Saturday was Media Day at the 2018 All-Star Weekend, and when Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby took the podium, he kept it real.
Holtby, who is making his third straight All-Star appearance, called his nomination “less expected” and said that “there’s a couple teammates that should be here instead of me.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 27, 2018
The first name out of Holtby’s mouth when it came to teammates that deserved to be an All-Star was, unsurprisingly, John Carlson. Carlson has scored seven goals and tallied 31 assists this season, ranking third in the NHL in points by a defenseman. He’s also a league leader in ice time per game. Carlson was thought to be a near-lock for the game but was surprisingly left off the roster in favor of Holtby.
“John Carlson, the fact he’s not an All-Star, it’s not great because he definitely is having a great season,” Holtby said. “Just the system, the way the picking is, he’s the victim this year. There’s always one or two every year. It’s unfortunate, there’s nothing anyone can do, but it would have been nice to see him recognized, for sure.”
Holtby also talked about his friendship with Matt Murray, the Penguins goaltender who has had a rough go of it this year. Murray has been plagued with injuries and has posted a save percentage of just .903 this season. The pair, according to Holtby, met through former Capital and Penguin Steve Oleksy, currently in the Anaheim Ducks organization. Murray considers Holtby one of his personal “idols.”
“We have a lot in common, a lot of the same interests,” Holtby said of Murray. “He’s down to earth, he’s a student of the game… The goaltending union is always funny, you know. We’re competitors, but when you see each other, you’re on the same page.”
When asked about how the fanbases would react, Holtby said, “Just because we ended up on different rival teams doesn’t mean we don’t share the same interests or we can’t be friends off the ice.”
Holtby and teammate Alex Ovechkin, as well as coach Barry Trotz, will represent the Metropolitan Division in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday.
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) January 27, 2018
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