Tom Wilson, Justin Williams, T.J. Oshie, Marcus Johansson, and Braden Holtby all...
Comparing Seasons: Braden Holtby
There is no doubt that Braden Holtby is a key player on this Caps team. As we have seen in past playoffs, a hot goalie can be the difference.
We all know just how good Holtby was last season, as he won his first career Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie. He had 48 wins, tying the NHL record set by Martin Brodeur, a .922 save percentage, and a 2.20 goals against average to go along with 3 shutouts in 66 games played.
Holtby had a great year last year, and had an even better one this year. While he may not be the Vezina favorite, he will definitely be a finalist. He is fourth in the league with a .925 save percentage, second in goals against average at 2.07, and tied for first in wins. Holtby also had NINE shutouts this year. The Caps as a team also allowed the least amount of goals in the league and have won the William Jennings trophy. Holtby also went on a stretch where he won more than 10 games in a row.
via @IneffectiveMath; hockeyviz.com
Another example of how Holtby is better this year is shown in the graphic above. Last season, his 5-on-5 save percentage maxed out around 94%. This year, that is his low. In addition, last year was up and down for him, this year he only got better. The same goes for his save percentage while the Caps are shorthanded.
One goal for the Caps this season was to decrease Holtby’s workload, and he did so by playing three fewer games. For his numbers to improve this season is a good example of how well the Caps managed him his time on ice. Holtby seemed tired at the end of the last season. Hopefully a little less work this season will keep him fresh enough for a deep playoff run.