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What are Holtby's chances of winning Vezina?

What are Holtby's chances of winning Vezina?

Since the NHL’s annual awards gala is a celebration of the regular season and not the playoffs, there are more Capitals under consideration for post-season trophies than members of the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

With the awards set for Wednesday night in Las Vegas, we’ll spend the next few days predicting the award winners.

Today, we’ll take a look at the nominees for the Vezina and Calder Trophies:

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Braden Holtby, Capitals (48-9-7, 2.20 GAA, .922 save percentage)  

The Capitals’ starting netminder signed a five-year, $30.5 million contract last summer and backed it up with one of the best single-season performances in NHL history. Holtby’s 48 wins tied Marty Brodeur’s single-season record and he did it in 12 fewer games, which is remarkable.

Ben Bishop, Lightning (35-21-1, 2.06 GAA, .926 SP)

Bishop led the NHL in goals-against average and shutouts (six) and had a career-best .926 save percentage. He finished behind Carey Price in last year’s voting and is destined to be a runner up again this year, even though he helped Tampa get to the conference final before getting injured in Game 1.

Jonathan Quick, Kings (40-23-5, 2.22 GAA, .918 SP) 

Despite a pair of Stanley Cups Quick has not won a Vezina, finishing as a runnerup in 2011-12. He played more minutes (4,034) than any goalie this season but fell eight wins short of Holtby’s record-tying season.

The Pick: Braden Holtby

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)

Connor McDavid, Oilers (16 goals, 32 assists in 45 games)

If he had not missed 37 games with a broken collar bone, McDavid would have run away with the Calder. His 1.07 points per game ranked third in the NHL among players with 40 or more games. He’ll get the Canadian vote, which will make this a close race.  

Shayne Gostisbehere, Flyers (17 goals, 29 assists in 64 games)

Although he was not injured, Gostisbehere also provided an abbreviated body of work and that will hurt his chances. Gostisbehere led all rookie blue liners with 46 points and was a force on the Flyers’ power play, helping Philadelphia claw into a playoff spot in the final week of the season.

Artemi Panarin, Blackhawks (30 goals, 47 assists in 80 games)

At 24, Panarin is five years older than McDavid and one year older than Gostisbehere and played parts of seven seasons in the KHL before signing with Chicago, but his numbers are hard to ignore. Even though award voting took place before the post-season, Panarin continued to produce in the playoffs with seven points in seven games.

The pick: Artemi Panarin


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Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tarik's 3 Stars: Wilson and Backstrom shine in Caps 3rd straight win

Tom Wilson scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom recorded four helpers and the assistant coaches chipped in with a big assist in Montreal, where the Caps earned a 6-4 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

The win was Washington’s third in a row and seventh in eight games as they close in on another Metro Division title. Caps Coach Barry Trotz, meantime, claimed victory No. 200 in Washington; his next win will equal Bruce Boudreau for second all-time in franchise history.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Tom Wilson, Capitals

Wilson’s all-around game continues to blossom…and the Caps’ big winger continues to fill up the scoresheet. At Bell Centre, he scored back-to-back goals less than four minutes apart in the first period to put the Caps in command. Wilson also missed an empty net in the closing seconds by just a few inches. The soon-to-be 24-year-old now has 13 goals—six more than his previous career high.  

2-Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom notched four assists and, as usual, he did it quietly. And they weren’t cheapies—three of the four helpers were of the primary variety. Backstrom, who has four goals and 12 assists in his last 12 games, has now notched four or more points 20 times in his career. It was also his 11th-career four assist game.

3-Leonhardt and Ohashi, Capitals

That’s right, I’m giving the third star to assistant coaches Brett ‘Stretch’ Leonhardt and Tim Ohashi. They quickly spotted that the Habs were offside on their second goal. And, after a coach’s challenge, the refs agreed. Instead of 2-0, it remained 1-0 and the Caps took full advantage of their second chance, scoring the game’s next four goals.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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

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.