Holtby hasn’t let delayed opportunity keep him down

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Braden Holtby turned some heads with his performance during the 2012 NHL playoffs.

With just 21 career NHL games under his belt, Holtby led the Washington Capitals past the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and kept them in a close series against the New York Rangers.

In the span of a couple months, Holtby went from being a promising prospect to the Washington Capitals probable number one goaltender for the 2012-13 campaign. But then the lockout started and he ended up back in AHL Hershey despite his efforts.

That hasn’t stopped him from making the most of his situation.

“We were a little worried about his mindset coming back to Hershey,” associate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig said in a Washington Times report. “But he’s been so focused and dialed-in and it just seems there’s another level of maturity to him this season.”

Holtby is thankful that he’s at least able to play in the minors during the lockout. It’s allowed him to stay in shape and continue to work on his game.

Holtby earned a shutout in his second start of the AHL campaign. Going into Friday’s action, he has a 2.59 GAA and .920 save percentage in 15 games.