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Serenity Now! -- Braden Holtby is picturing beaches to stay calm

Braden Holtby

Caps rookie goalie Braden Holtby has never faced pressure like he’ll face in tonight’s game against the Bruins in Boston.

To ensure he doesn’t, you know, totally freak out, reports the 22-year-old will employ “deep breathing and visualization exercises that help take him to a place of serenity.”

And what kind of things might he be visualizing?

“It could be a beach,” Holtby said, “or I could be skating on a pond back home as a kid.

“It brings you back down to earth and relaxes you.”

Holtby has been working with a sports psychologist since he was a teenager and admits that nerves used to affect his game.

“I always dealt with nerves and trying to do too much, and I always fought with myself in my mind,” Holtby said. “I experimented with some [mental exercises]. Some of it didn’t work for me and some of it does.

“It’s still hard to find that balance. Not all nerves are bad, but you want to be calm and bring your heart rate down so you don’t wear yourself out.”