Ryan Suter, Braden Holtby, Mike Green

Caps’ Holtby admits confidence is shaken after 5-3 loss to Wild


Giving up five goals is hard for any goalie. Giving up five goals in just 11 shots makes for a nightmare. That’s just what happened to Capitals goalie Braden Holtby last night against the Minnesota Wild.

Holtby was making his first start since December 21 after seeing Philipp Grubauer take hold of the starting job in the meantime. Coming back and getting lit up the way he did last night wasn’t great for his confidence as Katie Carrera of The Washington Post shares.

“It’s all about getting the confidence back, somehow some way,” Holtby said. “If I’m full of confidence I guess I make that fifth goal save that one that could really keep us in the game. That’s the one I really don’t like. That’s the one I need to have. The other four, do what you want on them. Maybe I play them differently maybe they still go in, who knows. But that fifth one is something – I’ll work on the 2-on-1s and make sure I’m better and work on screens obviously.”

It’s always the last one that sticks in your craw, isn’t it?

The loss was Holtby’s third in a row and he’s given up five goals in all three of those starts. With starts coming more sporadically of late, this could mean coach Adam Oates defers to Grubauer or even Michal Neuvirth to get something going for his team.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
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News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


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