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Surprise to no one, Dale Hunter says Holtby is his guy

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins - Game Two

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals stops a shot by Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 14, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in double overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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After seeing the way Braden Holtby has played through the first two games of the Caps’ first round series against Boston, you wouldn’t think he was a 22-year-old rookie. He’s looked calm, cool, and collected in helping Washington hold down the Bruins’ attack.

Of course, Holtby got the call in net thanks to injuries to both Tomas Vokoun (groin) and Michal Neuvirth (lower-body) and with Neuvirth getting back in shape and close to being ready to play, the debate over whether or not Holtby keeps the starting job or not was about to start.

That is until Caps coach Dale Hunter put that talk to bed at practice this morning. Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times gets the quote from Hunter professing his faith in Holtby.

“Holtsy’s our goalie.”

Hunter isn’t a man of many words and that quick one-liner is about as good as it gets for throwing his support behind one guy. Of course, Hunter has no reason not to love the kid. Through two games and virtually nine periods of play, Holtby has just given up two goals. Part of that success is thanks to the Caps fully buying into Hunter’s defense-first game plan, as CSNWashington’s Chuck Gormley shares.

With the whole team having Holtby’s back, grinding out goals is the only thing the Caps have to figure out if they’re going to escape the first round. Who thought we’d ever be saying that about the Capitals?