Leadership: Alex Ovechkin gave Braden Holtby the Capitals’ hard hat after being pulled from the Islanders’ game
Braden Holtby is one of the leaders of Washington’s 2019-20 team and the greatest Capitals goaltender of all-time. Saturday against the Islanders, however, Holtby gave up four goals on 22 shots through two periods of play. With the Capitals down 4-1, Todd Reirden pulled the Holtbeast at intermission and replaced him with rookie Ilya Samsonov.
The Capitals would score five unanswered goals and Ilya Samsonov stopped all seven shots that he saw in the third period, giving Washington a ridiculous 6-4 comeback win in their final game before their bye week and an eight-day vacation. Inside the locker room, the players held their final Capitals’ hard hat presentation. An autographed Washington Nationals’ batting helmet is given to the team’s player of the game – a subjective and symbolic award that can sometimes go to a player that does the dirty work behind the scenes for a victory.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who scored a hat trick against the New Jersey Devils the game before, was the player giving out the helmet. He decided to give it to Braden Holtby.