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

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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.”