Habs' Price Should Learn from Caps' Holtby
By Patrick Hoffman
**Originally drafted on June 6**
When talking about the best goaltenders in the NHL today, there are two that are usually mentioned each time.
Washington Capitals' goaltender Braden Holtby and Montreal Canadiens' netminder Carey Price are two elite netminders that have accomplished a lot in this league, have won individual awards, and for the most part, have been consistent. They're also both masked men that play similar styles and keep things extremely simple with their movements between the pipes.
With that said, there is one difference that really separates the two and that is their play in the postseason. While this is the first time that Holtby, 28, helped get his team through the second round for the first time, his numbers are quite impressive at the most important time of the year.
Holtby has posted a 2.03 GAA, a .929 save percentage, and six shutouts. Yes, him and his club have consistently been knocked out of the playoffs in the first or second round, but that is certainly not on him.
At the other end, Price, 30, has played pretty well (2.53 GAA, .914 save percentage, and five shutouts) in the postseason, but has only gotten his team through the first round twice and has had trouble coming up with the big save when his team needs it the most.
While the numbers are similar, it is the big saves that separate the two in a big way. Holtby's unbelievable stop in the final minutes of the third period in his team's 3-2 victory in Game 2 won his team the hockey game.
Yes, Price makes unbelievable saves as well, but not in the playoffs when it really matters. Obviously, that can't all be put on Price because the team in front of him wasn't always at their best in the playoffs, but sometimes, a big save can cover up a club's ineptness in a certain area of the game.
Carey may be older than Braden, but when it comes to performing well on a consistent basis come April, he should take a page out of Holtby's book and start making the big saves when it matters.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.