Braden Holtby reached an incredible milestone Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Holtby earned the 250th win of his career, becoming the second fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach that mark.
The only player to accomplish the feat quicker is Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden who did it in 381 games.
According to the Capitals PR, Holtby is the 56th goaltender in NHL history to reach the 250 win milestone and one of only 12 active goaltenders to do so.
With tonight's win, his 250th of his career, Braden Holtby has become the second fastest goaltender in NHL history to record 250 wins. He's one of just 56 goaltenders in NHL history to reach the mark, and one of 12 active goaltenders. pic.twitter.com/fggFwfrtzY
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) March 7, 2019
After the game, Capitals backup goaltender Pheonix Copley presented Holtby with the milestone game puck.
“I didn’t really know about it until our PR staff was bugging me about it today,” Holtby said after the game. “I think it’s just a testament of our team and our consistency. I’ve been very fortunate to play with a great organization here. It’s great. It’s one you can share with your teammates, but we have bigger goals here.”
Growing up as a kid, Holtby’s idol was longtime Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy.
“When I was growing up, I thought NHL players were almost not human. To me, Patrick Roy was like a superhero or something,” Holtby said to the Players’ Tribune earlier in the day. “I had no concept that he went home and ate dinner and went to sleep. He was Patrick Roy, you know?”
Holtby reached 250 wins in 59 fewer games than his childhood hero (465).
Since entering the league during the 2010-11 season, Holtby has won 61.3 percent of his games. During that time, the Capitals have won two Presidents’ Trophies, as the league’s best regular season team, and won their division six out of nine tries. Holtby led the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup in 2018.
Holtby has the highest winningest percentage among active goaltenders with at least 250 victories. The next closest is Marc-Andre Fleury (55 percent), whom Holtby looked up to in his teenage years.
“It’s kind of funny, but growing up, I ended up transitioning my favorite goalie from Roy to Fleury as I got a little older,” Holtby said. “When I was 14, and on my way to my incredible one-win season, Fleury was stealing the show for Team Canada at the World Juniors. At the time, the Quebec style with the huge pads and the blocking technique was taking over. I always hated that style. Then Fleury comes along with all this energy and athleticism, and he’s flying from post to post, and I just loved it. He became my new idol.”
Against the Flyers, Holtby made 27 saves on 30 shots, earning his fourth straight victory, pushing the Caps back into first place in the division.
“He’s great out there and he’s been great for us for so many years. It’s impressive,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “For us as players, we’re so proud of him and happy for him that he’s second goalie to reach that milestone. I mean, I think it says it all about him and how important he is for us and the franchise.”
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