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Herculean Holtby leads Caps past B's 2-1, even series at 2-2

For Caps goalie Braden Holtby, Thursday was just another day at the office. 

That day at the office, by the way, included 44 saves on 45 shots by the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native. It marked the second time in four games that Holtby made 40+ saves in the series, he stopped 43 of 44 shots in game two to steal a win in Boston.

Not bad for a guy with zero NHL playoff experience prior to his start in game one. Sure he had AHL playoff experience and some while playing for the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL, but not NHL playoff experience on the biggest stage in hockey. 

The result: a 1.60 GAA (second among all goalies in playoffs...

Caps turn to home-ice for game three versus Bruins

Coming into the series, nobody thought that 22-year-old Braden Holtby, with zero playoff experience, could match Tim Thomas save-for-save. 

But the Caps' young netminder has done just that, even slightly out-dueling Boston's former Vezina Trophy winner. 

Holtby carries a .83 GAA into game three in D.C. and a sparkling .973 save percentage. Not to mention that he's stopped 72 of 74 shots in those two games, answering some of the questions surrounding the Caps' ominous goaltending situation entering the playoffs. Thomas hasn't been all that bad either, tending the cage to the tune of the same .83 GAA and a .9...

TCL Round 1 Staff Predictions: Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals

 

( 2 ) BOSTON BRUINS vs. ( 7 ) WASHINGTON CAPITALS

The defending Stanley Cup Champions will have to first go through the Washington Capitals in this year's playoffs if they have any plans of repeating. Fortunately for them, the Capitals aren't exactly the most consistent team in the league right now. Frankly, they're probably lucky to find themselves in the playoffs after everything that's gone on in the nation's capital this year. Star players underperforming and creating mutinies against coaches, GMs unable to figure out what to do with their team, just a lot of headaches and problems for the Caps and their fans.  The Bruins, on the other han...

Caps invade Boston, try to derail defending champs

The Washington Capitals clinched a spot in the 2012 playoffs in game 81 of 82. In contrast, the Boston Bruins had been penciled in the playoffs since about game 10. Oh by the way, they're also the defending Stanley Cup champs. 

Leading the Capitals against the champs is of, course, a 22-year-old netminder with zero playoff experience in Braden Holtby. But hey, Michal Neuvirth had the same amount of playoff experience when the Caps dispatched the New York Rangers in the first-round of the playoffs last year, so there's that. 

Braden Holtby will make his first playoff start in the NHL in...

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 s...

Senators still building; playoff experience invaluable

The Ottawa Senators have beaten the New York Rangers in three out of the four games the teams have played this year, which bodes well for the Senators in their first-round playoff match up. This record is a huge improvement over the Senators' record against the Boston Bruins, in which they lost five of six games, so it is great news the Senators are not squaring off against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Senators have scored 15 goals against the Eastern Conference champions, and only allowed eight goals. Many people have written off Ottawa in the playoffs. The easy money is against the Senators, even with their impressive record against the Rangers. The...

Royals Dismantle Titans 7-0

Being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Trenton Titans have had only two goals; play spoiler to other teams in the playoff race, and try to catch the Bakersfield Condors and not be the worst team in the entire ECHL.

Sadly, they would do neither as the Reading Royals beat Trenton 7-0.

Coach Vince Williams has noted that the team is looking ahead to next season saying.

“You’re seeing what guys are made of,” he said. “You gotta earn what you’re gonna get. That’s how it should be.”

Flyers Look Like Contenders

Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Flyers are a contender.

It didn’t seem possible when the team blew itself up in the offseason to take on young players. It really didn’t seem possible when Chris Pronger went down for the season. It didn’t seem possible when Ilya Bryzgalov kept hemorrhaging goals.

Things have changed.

Through the course of the season the plan that seemed like madness now seems like perfect sanity.

With young players stepping up and filling roles, the Flyers have been balanced and outstanding offensively.

Flyers Look for Afternoon Delight This Weekend

So far this season, the Flyers have struggled mightily while playing during the day.

The team’s 3-8-1 record in afternoon games is proof enough of that.

Looking lethargic at times, the team’s lack of jump in day time hockey has resulted in sloppy play, which has allowed their opponents to outscore them 49-33 in those kinds of games.

Obviously, this is a trend that needs to be eliminated in the near future.

Deadline Dud

Today's Trade Deadline couldn't have been more boring as only 15 deals were struck with the biggest one coming from the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres which saw Cody Hodgson and Zach Kassian swapped jerseys. The Trade Deadline day I will say is over-hyped but it has been proven to be one of the most important days in the NHL season, as smart teams have added the right pieces and have went on to win Stanley Cups.

I get excited every year for the Trade Deadline and I don't think that will change anytime soon. Now that is over, here are today's winners and losers.