In praise of Braden Holtby

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I mentioned this the other day on the tweeter machine, but with the Capitals on NBCSN tonight, it bears repeating:

Among active goalies with at least 100 NHL appearances, only Tuukka Rask (.926) and Cory Schneider (.924) have a higher career save percentage than Washington’s Braden Holtby (.920).

Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist, considered by many to be the world’s best goalie, also has a .920 career save percentage.

Granted, Lundqvist has played 606 games and Holtby only 142. But still, that’s pretty darn good. And his career playoff save percentage is even better, at .931.

This season, Holtby is 21-8-7 with a .923 save percentage.

“His play has been stellar and so has our play,” said coach Barry Trotz, per NHL.com.

Discuss amongst yourselves how much Holtby should thank his teammates and new, structure-oriented coach for those gaudy numbers. To me, it just doesn’t seem like he gets the recognition his stats suggest he deserves. Five-on-five, Holtby’s right up there will all the current Vezina Trophy candidates. Even last season, during which he absorbed a fair bit of criticism as the Caps went on to miss the playoffs, his stats were actually quite good.