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No More Goalie Shuffle?

Posted July 9, 2014

No more head games for Holtby? (Caps Outsider)

The Washington Capitals welcomed yet another goalie to their family last week.  Twenty-three year old Edward Pasquale comes to the organization by way of the American Hockey League’s St. Johns Ice Caps.  He played 31 games with the Ice Caps during the 2013-2014 season sporting a 2.43 goals against average and a .950 save percentage.  He will share the work load in Hershey alongside Philipp Grubauer who played impressively last season with the Caps.

Braden Holtby will be joined on the big stage by another new acquisition for the Caps.  A bit overshadowed by the signing of former Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenders Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, 27-year-old Justin Peters, signed a two year, $950,000 a year, contract to be Holty’s back-up.  Peters played 68 career NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes with a 3.05 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.

General Manager Brian MacLellan and Coach Barry Trotz have put their trust in Holtby and report that he will absolutely be the Caps’ starting goalie for the 2014-2015 season.  Holtby will start the season, but the big question is:  Can Holtby finish the season and take the Caps into the playoffs?  Last season Holyby played in 48 games with 23 wins and 15 losses.   He had a goals against average of 2.85 and a .915 save percentage—not bad.  But can he keep his head in the game? Let’s not forget the Holtby-Neuvirth-Grubaurer  merry-go-round  of last season that kept fans guessing and shook Holtby’s confidence to the core.  That’s the very reason the organization did not sign a high profile goalie looking for a starting position, such as Olympic silver medalist Ryan Miller.  They wanted to send message to Holtby that the starting position was his alone in order to keep his confidence high.

Nevertheless, bringing Peters and Pasquale into the Caps’ family provides a more than adequate cushion for the team.  And with Grubauer remaining at the helm in Hershey, the Caps just may have found the balance and depth at the goalie position they have so desperately needed.

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