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Holtby believes Caps' time to win is now


Holtby believes Caps' time to win is now

Like many players in the visiting locker room in MadisonSquareGarden on May 13, goaltender Braden Holtby knew that seventh and deciding game Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers could be the final game for a handful of Capitals.

Two-and-a-half months later, the Capitals’ roster no longer has defensemen Mike Green and Tim Gleason, along with forwards Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer, Eric Fehr and Curtis Glencross.

“It’s always tough to see teammates go,” Holtby said after signing a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension to remain in Washington. “But I think in the case of the players that did leave, they went to good situations. They did what was best for them and that’s ultimately what you want to see for your friends – to do what’s best for them and their families.

“We’re going to miss those guys, but at the same time, guys come and go and you enjoy your time together while you have it.”

RELATED: Braden Holtby: 'I can help this team win a Cup'

With Green now a member of the Detroit Red Wings, Ward now a San Jose Shark and Brouwer a member of the St. Louis Blues, the Capitals are taking on a new look with forwards T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams and Holtby likes what he sees.

“We’re vey thrilled with the additions we were able to make,” Holtby said. “Both guys (Oshie and Williams) seem very excited about what we’re doing in Washington and want to be a big part of it. We’re gong to need them as much as we need the rest of the team to succeed and we’re all looking forward to that.”

Last season the Caps finished second in the Metropolitan Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference with 101 points. But like every post-season since Alex Ovechkin led them back to the playoffs in 2008, the Caps failed to get past the second round, this time falling to the Rangers in overtime.

Holtby said his expectations for the Capitals are no different now than when he first arrived in D.C. as a member of the 2008 draft class.

“I don’t think they’ve changed” he said. “It’s been a long process and it usually is. At the start of last year we focused on just creating what we think is the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.

“We grew a lot as a team and as an organization last year in order to gain the experience and confidence to groom ourselves into an elite level team. We’re getting there. It’s not going to be easy after last year. We still have to keep pushing forward, finding ways to get better and finding what the secret is to win a Stanley Cup. That’s ultimately what pushes us as players and the whole organization – to try to get better and to try to figure out the winning formula and that’s what we’re going to do. As long as it takes we’re going to do it.”

MORE CAPITALS: Carlson tweets to congratulate Holtby

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”