Braden Holtby

Holtby agrees with goalie pad reductions: ‘We should be athletes, not robots’


Braden Holtby has a pretty interesting opinion on the NHL’s reduction of goalie equipment size.

“I think it was [necessary],” the Caps netminder told CSN Washington. “I feel like we should be athletes, not robots, guys that use extra protection to stop the puck.

“I think we should rely on our athleticism, our reactions and our mental game.”

The topic of modified goalie gear — specifically, the two-inch reduction in leg pad height — has been a hot one. James Reimer said the new gear felt “really different,” and Jason LaBarbera was “blown away” by the changes.

Martin Brodeur, in a bit of gamesmanship, said the changes wouldn’t affect him very much, while not-so-subtly taking aim at Henrik Lundqvist’s (alleged) oversized kneepads.

What every goalie seemed to agree on, though, s the need to change their style of play to some degree.

Holtby’s comments took that line of thinking a step further. He’s not just saying the “let the pads stop the puck” approach is on its way out — he’s saying it shouldn’t have been in to start with.

“The smaller the gear can be without giving up protection is the best,” Holtby explained. “I may be on my own on this in the goalie world, but that’s how I feel.

“It should be more about being an athlete and less about guys around a computer at a factory.”

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.