Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was named by the NHL as one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy on Wednesday along with Jonathan Quick of Los Angeles and Ben Bishop of Tampa Bay. The Vezina is awarded annually to the best goalie in the NHL as voted on by NHL general managers.
Holtby, 26, put together a spectacular season for the Caps with a 48-9-7 record, tying Martin Brodeur for the NHL record for wins in a single season and he did it in 12 fewer games than Brodeur (66 to 78). Holty registered a .922 save percentage and 2.20 goals-against average. In the first round of the playoffs, Holtby allowed only five goals in six games with a .968 save percentage.
Even on a roster that boasts superstar talent like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov, Holtby has not been overshadowed by his teammates and has emerged as one of the top netminders in the league.
"It’s huge," Ovechkin said. "He’s the best goalie in the league. When you have that kind of weapon on your team, it’s huge.”
Should Holtby win, he will be the third goalie in franchise history to win the award. Jim Carey won for the 1995-96 season and Olie Kolzig won in 1999-00.
What set Holtby apart this season was his consistency. While multiple goalies looked to be in contention at different points in the season, Holtby was one of the top goalies throughout, helping lead the Capitals to one of its best seasons ever and a Presidents' Trophy.
"He's been as consistent as any goaltender in the Nationals Hockey League this year," head coach Barry Trotz said. "He's gotten a lot of attention for that not only from the records side. But you don't put a record together like that if you have areas where you haven't been that good for long periods of time, so he's been pretty solid all year."
The 2016 NHL Awards will be held on June 22 in Las Vegas.
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