When you go 9-3-1 in the month of November there are plenty of reasons. On Tuesday the NHL decided Braden Holtby was the biggest when the Capitals goaltender was named the league’s second star for the month of November.
Holtby posted a 9-2-0 record in November with one shutout, a 1.99 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage to pace the NHL in wins and lead the Caps to within one point of the first-plaace New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.
“We’re finding ways to win and that’s a good sign,” Holtby said. “We’re trying not to get too complacent with what we’re doing. We don’t think our game is where we want it yet, but we’re finding ways to win, which is a good sign.”
Holtby wasn’t the only Capitals player who enjoyed a strong month of November. Alex Ovechkin had seven goals and three assists, Nicklas Backstrom added four goals and eight assists and Evgeny Kusnetsov had two goals and 10 assists.
“We believe we’re a team that can find ways to win when we’re not on top of our game,” Holtby said. “We still have to push to find that consistency. We’re getting better at certain things every day. It’s a long season for a reason. You don’t get too high or too low. It’s about reaching that end goal and enjoying that ride to get there.”
Holtby, 26, allowed two or fewer goals in eight of 11 appearances in the month of November, including a 33-save shutout on Nov. 23 vs. Edmonton. Holtby recorded a career-high seven consecutive wins to close November, capped by a pair of 32-save victories over the final weekend of the month .
Holtby was named the NHL’s “Second Star” for the week ending Nov. 29. He is 15-4-0 with one shutout, a 1.95 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in 19 appearances this season, leading the NHL in both wins and goals-against average.