Capitals' Braden Holtby says he's OK after scary collision in practice


TORONTO—Braden Holtby gave everyone quite a scare Wednesday morning when he went down briefly following a collision with Marcus Johansson.

Holtby, however, quickly shook off the effects of the bump and finished the morning skate with no visible ill-effects.

“I’m fine,” Holtby said later. “Just a practice play. It happens. You get hit sometimes; it’s hockey.”

Holtby, the expected starter in Game 4, was tending the net during drills when he got bumped up high by Marcus Johansson as the winger cut through slot.

A hush fell over the Air Canada Centre as Holtby fell to the ice. But after collecting himself, Holtby jumped to his skates and resumed facing shots. Johansson and Coach Barry Trotz each came over to check on Holtby.

“I was like, okay, let’s go check this out,” Trotz said, asked what went through his head when he saw Holtby go down. “Obviously, I think they just laughed it off.”

Trotz added: “I didn’t even see it, I was looking down at the other end and then all of a sudden it got quiet and I was like, ‘Okay.’ …Like anybody, when your goaltender gets bumped over, your heart stops for a second.”

Johansson, obviously, was relieved that Holtby was fine.   

“It wasn’t a very hard hit,” Johansson said. “You never want to see that happen. But he’s alright … it’s practice. Stuff happens.”

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