Braden Holtby’s start to the 2013-14 campaign couldn’t have gone much worse, as evidenced by his 6.32 GAA and .822 save percentage. Given that the Washington Capitals have a more than capable backup in Michal Neuvirth, it would have been perfectly understandable to bench Holtby tonight.
Instead Capitals head coach Adam Oates was quick to reinforce his support for Holtby and announce that the 24-year-old netminder would start in his third consecutive game. Holtby appreciates the vote of confidence.
“It’s nice when a coach has trust in you,” Holtby told CSN Washington. “I’d like to get back in there and give a better effort.”
Offensively, the Capitals have been great so far. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mikhail Grabovski are three of just four players in the NHL with four or more points. If Holtby can bounce back, the Capitals forwards should be able to take care of the rest.
Washington’s match against the Dallas Stars will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET.