Deservedly, Carey Price and Pekka Rinne have been the talk of the goaltending world in the 2014-15 season.
Rinne has been the brick wall that is separating the Nashville Predators from making the playoffs and golfing in late April. His 2.17 GAA and .923 save percentage are in the top 10 among goaltending leaders, while Price’s 1.93 GAA and .935 save percentage are likely going to make a historic mark — he will probably win the Vezina and Hart Trophies for his outstanding work between the pipes. The last goaltender to achieve this mark was a former Canadiens netminder (Jose Theodore, 2001-02).
Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, the Rangers’ Cam Talbot and Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson all have jumped to the top of headlines throughout the course of the season, but one name has eerily been a quiet commodity. The Washington Capitals probably can’t seem to figure out why that is.
Goaltender Braden Holtby has strung together a remarkable season. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native shut out the playoff-hungry Boston Bruins on Wednesday, completing 180 minutes of domination by the Capitals on the team from Beantown. In three meetings, the Capitals have scored nine goals, while the Bruins have scored none.
It’s just another notch on the old belt for Holtby, who improved his overall record to 41-19-10 with the victory; his win totals are tied with Rinne for second in the League. His 2.21 GAA ties Talbot for fourth, his .923 save percentage ties Rinne for seventh and his nine shutouts is tied with Price and Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury for the top spot. This is a netminder who found himself amidst a battle with Philipp Grubauer and Michal Neuvirth for the No. 1 Washington goalie job for most of last season, and even lost the starter job to deadline-acquisition Jaroslav Halak late in the campaign.
Holtby has responded brilliantly. He has taken hold of the starter spot, appearing in a League-leading 72 games and starting in 71 contests, also tops in the NHL. More importantly, the Capitals are in second place of the Metropolitan Division, leading the New York Islanders by three points with one game remaining in the schedule. The Islanders have been struggling as of late — Washington possessing home-ice advantage could be a deal breaker for their eventual first-round matchup.
At the forefront is Holtby. He’s been the stalwart in the crease and he leads off our hockey news for the day.
The Capitals’ shutout of the Bruins was a historic moment. [CBS Sports]
Here’s how the playoff picture currently shakes out for the Bruins. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
The Canucks signed Derek Dorsett and Luca Sbisa. [Puck Daddy]
The Rangers won the President’s Trophy with a win over the Devils. [USA Today]
The Stars defeated the Ducks and Jamie Benn tied for the League lead in points. [Defending Big D]
Red Wings’ Erik Cole will miss the rest of the season and postseason. [TSN.ca]
Henrik Lundqvist has a new mask that honors NY heroes. [Hockey Feed]
The Kings are fighting for their playoff lives. [Globe & Mail]
Predators have been putting out a dismal power play. Is it a cause for concern? [Today’s Slapshot]
The Blues and Blackhawks have a big meeting tonight in St. Louis. [HockeyBuzz]
NHL admits that it is planting seeds for a new team in Las Vegas. [The Post Game]