Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby leads the NHL in wins (15) and goals-against average (1.95) and on Monday he was recognized for his strong play last week as the NHL named him the second star for the week ending on Nov. 29. Holtby started in all four of the Caps games, all wins, as he extended his win streak to a personal high seven games.
“We’re trying to continue where we were last year and find areas to fix,” Holtby said, referring to goalie coach Mitch Korn. “There’s still always areas that get exposed that you didn’t know were there before.”
Holtby, 26, went 41-20-10 last season with a 2.22 GAA and .923 save percentage and the Caps rewarded him with a five-year, $30.5 million contract.
“The way to get better at this point is to recognize things earlier and fix them as fast as you can,” Holtby said. “Not many drastic changes, but realizing if you’re getting away with things, even when you’re not getting scored on. That’s what Mitch is very good at and we’re trying to approach it that way.”
Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.
He denied all 33 shots he faced to earn his 21st career shutout and first of the season in a 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 23.
Holtby followed that performance with 23 stops in a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 25 before capping the week with a pair of 32-save outings in 4-2 wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning Nov. 27 and Toronto Maple Leafs Nov. 28.
“We got into a bit of a rhythm last week, which is what we were all looking forward to,” Holtby said. “If you have something you want to fix it’s nice to get out there and play again.”