At one end of the rink between the pipes stood Tim Thomas of Boston, defending Stanley Cup Champion goalie.
At the other a 22-year old starting in his very first playoff game.
That was April 12. But after a seven-game series, the young buck Braden Holtby finds himself playing in the second round of the playoffs.The brilliant display of goal tending during the Boston-Washington series, where each game was decided by one goal and four went to overtime, provided one of the most-entertaining series in the first round.
The defending Stanley Cup Champions just couldn’t seem to figure out Holtby. The young goalie showed poise when the Bruins came at him. Goal tending wins championships, and the Capitals have found a goalie who, if he plays the way he did against the Bruins, will be a good start to their Stanley Cup dreams.
Now Holtby faces Henrik Lundqvist, arguably the best goalie this season. A Hart Trophy finalist against a rookie. This series will test Holtby more than the first. The Rangers were a force to be reckoned with during the regular season and sat atop the Eastern Conference for a reason. Washington finds themselves down by one in the series, but even if they lose, they have found a goalie they can build with. If Holby can play like he did against the Bruins for a season, the Caps could find themselves in a better position when it comes to the playoff picture.