Braden Holtby made his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals in November of 2010. I remember seeing him on the ice and being fascinated by how calm and composed he was in goal. His presence alleviated a lot of pressure from the team and the energy was palpable as the fans roared when he made key saves. It felt inspiring to witness someone so rookie achieve something seemingly difficult to the rest of us, which was to make it to the NHL.
In his first season, he started in 22 games, won 10 and had a shutout of the Boston Bruins. His goals against average (GAA) was 2.85 and his save percentage was a respectable .906. His second season was even more impressive as he played in the majority of the games in the regular season and got his win total up to 23. His GAA dropped down to 2.56 and his save percentage increased to .910.
The following year, we saw Braden meeting the expectations the Capitals had set for him. Washington went on to win the Southeast Division with Holtby in goal for the majority of games. His performance was spectacular and his numbers suggested that he was ready to serve as a full-time starter for the team. He finished the season with a 2.58 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
That season is when I began referring friends to Braden’s broadcasts. His large saves and poise in goal seemed to increase exponentially. He was a fearless juggernaut on the ice that captivated the hearts of many Capitals fans. In the playoffs, Holtby was even more impressive as he limited the opposing offense to two or fewer goals in four of his seven starts.
The next season, 2014-2015, was the year that cemented Braden Holtby’s legacy as he set a Capitals record for wins in the regular season with 41. His GAA dropped again to 2.22 and his save percentage rose to an impressive .923. His ability to handle pressure had reached a new level as he played even more spectacularly in the playoffs. He was named the most valuable player of the 2015 playoffs by many analysts which was a great honor bestowed upon him for his exemplary performance.
Braden Holtby had become an undisputed, top tier goaltender and that record setting season ended with him winning the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding goaltender per season. It was a truly a momentous event in his career and a source of pride for Caps fans, including myself.
Since then, Holtby has only continued to impress and establish himself as one of the best goalies in the cheap nhl jerseys. Not only is he a decorated athlete now, but he has made his mark in Washington’s history books. His nhl shop debut was a mere stop on what is now a decorated career.