This wasn’t a bad series for Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, but he didn’t look particularly impressive Washington’s 5-0 loss in Game 7 against the New York Rangers.
Holtby didn’t try to hide from that after his team was eliminated.
“We didn’t put in the right effort for a Game 7 win. Everyone, especially myself,” Holtby told CSN Washington.
At the same time, it’s hard to criticize your netminder when you go two straight games without scoring a single goal. The Washington Capitals certainly tried to deflect the blame off of their 23-year-old goaltender.
“I think he’s been playing great the whole series and the whole season. He’s a young, talented goalie and without him we wouldn’t be here in the playoffs today,” said Nicklas Backstrom. “He’s not the reason we lost. It’s me, myself and the other players.”
24-year-old defenseman Karl Alzner added that Holtby “did everything we asked him to do.”
Holtby has already been in three Game 7s and through 21 career postseason contests, he has a 2.04 GAA and .931 save percentage. Perhaps these tough series early in his NHL tenure will help him down the road, but as a team the Capitals will need to do a lot of soul searching after this coming up short yet again in the playoffs.