Holtby could lead Caps against Bruins
Caps goalie Braden Holtby has played just 21 regular season games in his short career.
Now, he's the Capitals' probable game one starter when they open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, where he could make his first career playoff start on Thursday.
Oh by the way, he's facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins...in Boston. At just 22-years-old, Holtby will be the youngest goaltender to start for any team in the 2012 playoffs. Welcome to the big show kid.
The reason the Caps could have to turn to the youngster is due to injuries to both veteran starter Tomas Vokoun and backup Michal Neuvirth, who played very well down the stretch in place of Vokoun to help the Caps into the playoffs.
While both Neuvirth and Vokoun skated at practice on Monday, neither looked like they were going to be ready to play. Vokoun, dealing with a persistent groin injury, skated on his own while Neuvirth, nursing a knee injury, practiced for about 15 minutes with the team.
Holtby is 4-2-1 with a 2.49 GAA and .922 SV % on the season and sports a 14-4-3 career record with a .929 SV % and a 2.02 GAA.
Holtby spent most of the season playing with the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League.
Despite the youth of Holtby, Caps players have confidence in the youngster to get the job done.
"He's an aggressive goaltender," Brooks Laich told NHL.com. "He's not just a shot-blocker. I think he plays with a little bit of Tim Thomas in him -- that aggressive style -- that come out and challenge you."
Caps defenseman Karl Alzner echoed the sentiments of Laich, "I think he'll be just fine. It's up to us to do a good job of making sure we get those guys out of there and not make it fun for them to stand in front of him. If they're hurting every time they leave the front of the net then it's going to be good."
Either way, at his point, the Caps have no choice but to roll with the 22-year-old and hope he's up to the challenge.