The Washington Capitals will play the Dallas Stars on Friday and one would assume a very familiar face will be in the opposing goal.
Braden Holtby, the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup-winning goaltender and champion of equal rights, is the Stars’ de facto starter and has played in three of the team’s last four games.
After the Capitals’ optional skate on Thursday, Evgeny Kuznetsov was asked about potentially facing his former beardy teammate and his answer was so relatable.
“He was the main reason why we been successful for a long time,” Kuznetsov said according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir. “When you say Braden Holtby, it’s that save, right? It’s always that picture in your eyes, right? It will be in my memory forever.”
During his time in Washington, Holtby tied Martin Brodeur for the most wins in a single season (48) and won the second-most games in Capitals history (282). Holtby also won the Vezina Trophy in 2016 and the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2017.
But his biggest moment, as Kuznetsov alluded to, was The Save, which he made during Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final. Holtby reached out with his stick and stopped Alex Tuch, preserving a Capitals victory. The Capitals went on to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.
Holtby left the Capitals after the 2019-20 season, signing a two-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks. After getting bought out by Vancouver during the offseason, Holtby signed with Dallas where he’s returned to form. The 32-year-old tendy is 9-8-1 on the season with a .917 save percentage. Earlier in the season, Braden set the record for the most wins by a goaltender in NHL history through his first 500 career games.
Kuznetsov’s kind comments for Holtby come after the two had a rocky start as teammates when they first met at 2010 Development Camp.
They eventually became good friends and two of the most important pieces of the Capitals’ only championship team.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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