Originally written on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 11/10/14

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals warms up before playing the New York Rangers on February 4, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

As the 2011-12 season has come to a close, the time has come to evaluate what it meant for the Capitals, both as a team and as individuals.  As such, as the summer progresses, I will be writing a report card, or individual evaluation, for each player who played in 9 (~10%) of the team's games, or 4 playoff games. Next up is goaltender Braden Holtby, who finished his third professional season in the Capitals' organization on this past campaign.

Season Summary: Holtby struggled down in Hershey bigtime at the beginning of this season, putting up poor numbers through the first half of the year.  When he was called up to DC in February, he was hammered to the tune of five goals on 35 shots against San Jose, but just like last year, his second recall was much more successful.  Pressed in to action because of injuries and poor performances, Holtby collected seven of a possible ten points in the games he started in March and April and helped get the Capitals to the playoffs.  Overall, he finished with a 4-2-1 record, 2.50 goals against average, .922 save percentage, and one shutout in seven games (six starts). Grade: B+

Role Play: In the regular season, Holtby did just about everything you could ask from a rookie.  With the exception of two games, he was more than solid in regular season action and helped Washington pick up critical points in big games down the stretch.  I don't know what else you could want from a guy who entered the season third on the organizational goaltending depth chart.  Though he didn't play many games, his impact was significant when his team needed him - something Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun cannot say. Grade: A

Playoffs: Again forced to start because of injuries, Holtby shocked the hockey world by carrying the Capitals almost singlehandedly to a victory over the Cup champion Bruins and pushing the top-seeded Rangers to seven games.  In his 14 postseason starts, Holtby recorded a 7-7 record, 1.95 GAA, and .935 save percentage, great numbers for anyone, but especially a rookie against the East's top two teams.  He was mortal at times, such as game one against New York, but in the end, he was the reason the Caps got as far as they did with some highlight-reel saves and steady, consistent play.  I was very impressed, once again, with his play. Grade: A+

Future Potential: Despite his exceptional playoffs, Holtby should not be the number one goalie next year, nor is his performance a reason to trade Michal Neuvirth.  Make no mistake: Holtby is a supremely talented goalie and he has excelled at the NHL level.  But the sophomore slump will almost surely come, like it does with all young goalies, and with 35 games of NHL experience, I am not ready to give Holtby a 60 game workload over the course of a full season.  You shouldn't either.  He may prove me wrong, but he and Neuvirth should fight it out for starts until a number one is decided upon near the playoffs.  Nevertheless, he is a special talent and I think he will be a very good goalie at this level, as do many scouts. Grade: A

The next report card will feature winger Jason Chimera.

As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

Brady: Edelman might be Pat's Most Dependable Player

Who can fight off the Golden State Warriors in the West?

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into 'Sunday Night Football' slot

Miami Dolphins electing to keep Joe Philbin a smart decision

Coughlin tells Beckham Jr to tone down TD celebrations

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Jets claim to be best 3-12 team ever

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.