Braden Holtby has been nothing short of a superstar in the Capitals’ opening round series against Boston. The boatload of saves, some of them of the highlight variety, and now he’s got the seventh seeded Capitals in a Game 7 against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Time to get nervous, right? Not for Holtby. CSNWashington’s Chuck Gormley hears it from Holtby about how he can’t wait to play in tonight’s series-deciding match-up.
“There’s no point in having nerves right now,” he said. “This is fun. This is what we were hoping for. We’re still the underdogs here. … I don’t think anyone really expected us to be here, even in a Game 7, and you know, we like this pressure. We’re here to show that we’re not gonna back down. Myself, I’m just gonna go in, try to make the stops that I’m capable of stopping and hopefully it’s enough to win.”
Are we sure he’s just 22-years-old because that’s the sort of response you get from a veteran who’s been around the block a few times. Fortunately for Holtby, the defense in front of him has been doing their fair share of the work as well. From keeping shooters to the perimeter to blocking tons of shots, Holtby’s getting a lot of help on top of his great play.
Dealing with a Bruins team that was 3-0 in Game 7s last year, however, presents a whole new challenge. No pressure, kid.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.