Found October 28, 2013 on The Farm Club:
  Despite being pulled after Calgary scored three goals in thirteen minutes against the Caps on Saturday, Braden Holtby is playing steadier in net than last season.  Oates didn’t pull Holtby because of his play.  He wanted to spark the team.  Holtby fumed and jawed at his teammates as he skated off.  I’ve yet to hear what he said, but I’m sure he wasn’t complementing his teammates on their pathetic defense. Holtby, a fiery net minder much like his current coach Olaf Kolzig, doesn’t hesitate to let his teammates know when the way they’re playing is unacceptable.  But how does Holtby’s play stack up, regardless of the Caps defensive play? Is Holtby comfortable enough to play solid in net with a shaky defense in front of him? Can he elevate his game to the place successful goalies must go to play effectively in the Stanley Cup playoffs and finals? Just 24 years old,  the 93rd overall draft pick in 2008, has played 67 regular season games and 21 playoff games, starting in 2010-2011. His best performance came during the Dale Hunter era playoffs when the Caps played really tight defense.  Holtby’s .935 save percentage put him in the top 5 among all goaltenders playing in the playoffs that year.  Playing goal in front of Dale Hunter’s ‘defense first’ team, however, is easier than playing in front of Adam Oates’s pressuring offensive style. Holtby started out terribly when he first started playing under Adam Oates, during the strike shortened season.  He improved, as the Caps improved, and the team began to grasp Oates’s system. The team also played better defense for Oates last season versus this season.  They ended up +8, good for 10th in the league, and with a 2.71 GAA.  This season the Caps are -5 with a 3.18 GAA, putting them 26th in the league.  Holtby has a harder task this season and, yet, his confidence as a goalie is growing as described in the Washington Post today.  Sometimes though, his confidence makes him play a little too loose and he gets burned.  When he gets too confident, Holtby seems to forget that the defense in front of him is not that good and he needs to play on his toes all the time. Playoff games won will be the barometer of whether or not Holtby is a Stanley Cup contending goalie.  Of course, the Caps have to give Holtby the opportunity to play in the playoffs and make it to the finals. I wish the rest of the Caps played with as much fire as Holtby and Alex Ovechkin play with on most nights.  They’d be unstoppable. Let’s go Caps! The post Is Holtby a Stanley Cup Contending Goalie? appeared first on The Farm Club.

Eklund: Is This The NHL MVP So Far?

This not a bash Ovechkin blog. Understood? This is a question. Does AO's torrid start make him the most valuable player in the NHL? Ok...well right away the "What is MVP?" question has to be addressed. Just be silly we will define MVP as most valuable player. Not the best player in NHL...the most valuable player. There really is no question that Ovechkin is the...

Capitals Defenseman Steven Oleksy Breaks Skate, Struggles Mightily to Get to Bench (Video)

NHL players are so ridiculously good at what they do that you sometimes kind of forget that it’s a game played on a big sheet of ice. And when you take away an player’s ability to skate, you’re quickly reminded how humbling a sheet of ice can be. That’s what happened to Washington Capitals defenseman Steven Oleksy on Monday night as the Caps took on the Vancouver Canucks...

Holtby yanked early; Caps can’t stand the heat in Calgary

Aaron Volpatti (center) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his first goal as a Washington Capital (photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) It was uncharacteristically warm yesterday in the Stampede City as temperatures rose up into the upper 60′s, roughly 18 degrees above the average for this time of year, but the heat was on in the Saddledome as the Caps squared off with the...

WATCH: Steve Oleksy struggles to get off ice with broken skate

Pity the poor NHL players who have to wear so much equipment during a game — especially those danged ice skates. Now watch as Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy loses the blade of one skate on Monday and has to helplessly —and comically — slip, stumble and crawl to the bench without any help from the referees or his teammates while the puck was still in play. ...

Calgary Flames down Washington Capitals 5-2

It was red-light night at the Saddledome. For a change, Alex Ovechkin wasn’t turning them on. For the first time in eight career meetings with the Russian superstar, the Calgary Flames managed to keep Ovechkin off the scoresheet, a key ingredient to their success in Saturday’s 5-2 home-ice win over the Washington Capitals. “The plan was to not allow him to basically get...

Oilers can’t exact revenge against Ovechkin, Capitals.

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Catching Up: Even Strength Woes; When Will the Shoe Drop?

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Ovechkin back on track as he preps to face Canucks on Monday

Maybe it will take an Alex Ovechkin autobiography for all of us to figure out what truly happened to his game for the better part of 2010-12. The Great 8 comes to Rogers Arena Monday night with the Washington Capitals to take on the Vancouver Canucks in the midst of the best start of his NHL career, with 10 goals in 11 games. Put that it together with the way he ended last year...

Pre-game primer: Caps end trip in Vancouver

News and notes as the Capitals [5-6-0] try to close out their four-game Canadian road trip with a win over the Canucks [8-4-1] in Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. You can catch the game on CSN at 10 p.m.: No love in B.C.: Are you ready for this? The last time the Capitals won a game in Vancouver, Olie Kolzig was the winning goaltender and Adam Oates scored the game-winner in overtime...
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