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Holtby: 'The only stat I care about is wins'


Holtby: 'The only stat I care about is wins'

Maybe it was the fact he was standing next to one of the greatest goaltenders to ever lace up a pair of hockey skates.

Maybe his mind was wandering back to his teenage days when he read Martin Brodeur’s autobiography, Beyond The Crease, cover to cover.

Maybe someone whispered to him that before the game, Brodeur told reporters he reminded him of himself.

Whatever the reasons, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby wasn’t sure what to do for Saturday’s pre-game ceremonial puck drop involving  Brodeur and Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.

“It was a little awkward,” Holtby said after stopping 22 of 24 shots, plus two of three more in the Caps’ 3-2 shootout win over the Devils Saturday at Prudential Center.

“Cory and I looked at each other. We didn’t know what to do. Was it an actual puck drop? We forgot to take a picture (with Brodeur). It was bad.”

Once the real puck dropped Holtby went back to doing what he does best, keeping the Capitals in the game long enough for Paul Carey to tie the score late in the third period and Alex Ovechkin to win it in the shootout, after Holtby denied shootout attempts by Joseph Blandisi and Jacob Josefson.

Holtby is now an incredible 24-1-3 in his last 28 decisions and leads the NHL with 32 wins. With a record of 32-5-3, Holtby is on pace for 52 wins, which would shatter Brodeur’s single season record of 48 wins in 2006-07. Brodeur needed 78 games to set that record. Holtby is on pace to play just 67 games.

“It’s definitely something I look at because really the only stat I care about is wins,” Holtby said. “It’s a stat you can share with the rest of your team because everyone is part of it. We have a good group here and we know we have a lot of work to do in order to grow our game. But winning is the point, that’s why we’re here.”

Playing his second game in three days, Holtby said he felt better on Saturday than he did in Thursday night’s 3-2 win over the Islanders. After allowing a power-play goal by Blandisi early in the third period, Holtby says he never saw Adam Henrique’s go-ahead goal because teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov inadvertently sprayed snow in his face on a furious backcheck.

“It was kind of a weird play because I got a face full of snow before I could pick up the puck,” Holtby said, unaware it was Kuznetsov who provided the whiteout. “I didn’t see the release of it. I think he made a good shot, I’m not sure.”

Aside from Henrique’s goal, Holtby left a good impression on Brodeur, a goalie he grew up watching as a teenager growing up in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.

“It’s a big honor to be here when Marty is honored,” Holtby said. “Those were the goalies of my era – Marty, Patrick Roy, Marty Turco. That’s who I watched every single day. When I got deeper into goaltending I read (Brodeur’s) book. The mental ability he had and his stamina, it’s just amazing. You look at his stats and it’s like it’s not even real.”

MORE CAPITALS: Carey finishes tough week with first NHL goal for Caps

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal


Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.


The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.


That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.

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NHL Trade Tracker 2018: Latest deadline rumors, deals

NHL Trade Tracker 2018: Latest deadline rumors, deals

The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline is nearly here, marking the final point in the season teams can make major shakeups before preparing for the stretch run and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline takes place a week earlier than in 2017, and teams have until 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon, February 26 to make their final pre-deadline deals. That being said, the trade deadline is not the end of player movement in 2018, but signifies the end of the open trade window.

But with less than w eek left, the trade rumors are swirling, with teams putting out feelers and reaching out to potential trade partners.

The Capitals started the trade deadline period a week early, with a minor trade on Monday and another on Wednesday.



February 21: TRADE — The Montreal Canadiens trade D Jakub Jerabek to the Washington Capitals for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. (TRADE ANALYSIS)

February 21: RUMOR — The Columbus Blue Jackets have shown interest in acquiring Artem Anisimov from the Chicago Blackhawks, a team attempting a major rebuild toward the end of the 2017-18 season.

February 20: TRADE — The Toronto Maple Leafs trade C Erif Fehr to the San Jose Sharks for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

February 20: RUMOR — The Ottawa Senators are looking to deal D Erik Karlsson and C Bobby Ryan. The Sens have already begun to enter "tank" mode. Moving Karlsson and/or Ryan would make it all but official.

February 20: TRADE — The New York Rangers trade D Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins for D Rob O'Gara and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

February 19: TRADE — The Chicago Blackhawks trade D Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. (TRADE ANALYSIS)

February 19: RUMOR — The Anaheim Ducks look to be targeting Vancouver Canucks LW Thomas Vanek, but the Canucks may 'kick tires" on a potential trade if the return isn't right. 

February 19: TRADE — The Detroit Red Wings trade G Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

February 19: RUMOR — The Pittsburgh Penguins are interested in pursuing speedy New York Rangers RW Michael Grabner.

February 17: RUMOR — The Ottawa Senators' fire sale continues to heat up. The St. Louis Blues are reportedly interested in Senators RW Mike Hoffman and C Derick Brassard.

February 15: TRADE — Toronto Maple Leafs trade RW Nikita Soshnikov to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

February 15: TRADE — The Chicago Blackhawks trade D Ville Pokka to the Ottawa Senators for LW Chris DiDomenico.

February 13: RUMOR — New York Rangers LW Rick Nash is rumored to be a major trade target for virtually every team within playoff reach. The Nashville Predators have been rumored to be the favorites for the former No. 1 overall draft pick.

February 13: TRADE — The Los Angeles Kings trade RW Marian Gaborik and C Nick Shore to the Ottawa Senators for D Dion Phaneuf and C Nate Thompson.