Caps rookie goalie Braden Holtby has never faced pressure like he’ll face in tonight’s game against the Bruins in Boston.
To ensure he doesn’t, you know, totally freak out, CSNWashington.com reports the 22-year-old will employ “deep breathing and visualization exercises that help take him to a place of serenity.”
And what kind of things might he be visualizing?
“It could be a beach,” Holtby said, “or I could be skating on a pond back home as a kid.
“It brings you back down to earth and relaxes you.”
Holtby has been working with a sports psychologist since he was a teenager and admits that nerves used to affect his game.
“I always dealt with nerves and trying to do too much, and I always fought with myself in my mind,” Holtby said. “I experimented with some [mental exercises]. Some of it didn’t work for me and some of it does.
“It’s still hard to find that balance. Not all nerves are bad, but you want to be calm and bring your heart rate down so you don’t wear yourself out.”
Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty
Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.
Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”
It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.
The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.
This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.
Do you put greater blame on struggling goaliesKari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.