Braden Holtby has claimed his first career William M. Jennings Trophy, which is given annually to the goaltender who plays at least 25 games for the team that allowed the fewest goals.
The Caps yielded 182 goals—13 fewer than the Blue Jackets.
“We take a pride in trying to be able to defend and also keep the offense,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “That was sort of our goal from Day 1. I think we have a much better balance to that [this season].”
Holtby finished the regular season with the most shutouts (9), tied for the lead in wins (42), was second in goals against average (2.07) and fourth in save percentage (.925). He’s also just the third goalie in league history to produce three consecutive 40-win seasons, joining Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10).
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Washington’s league-low goal total also benefitted from Philipp Grubauer’s solid play as Holtby’s backup. In 24 games, Grubauer went 13-6-2 with a 2.04 goals against average and a .926 save percentage.
“We’ve got two really quality goaltenders,” Trotz said. “You can’t win without all three elements— offense, defense and you have to have the special teams. And part of that defense is great goaltending.”
Trotz added: “Holts probably has set some records, I’m sure, again. And Grubi has continued to rack up wins for us every year. And you look at the numbers, what impresses me is that it didn’t matter who was in net, our numbers didn’t really change. That tells you a lot about your group, tells you a lot about your goaltending and tells you a lot our how you play night in and night out. This group was very professional all year.”
The Caps last won the Jennings Trophy in 1983-84, when Al Jensen and Pat Riggin combined for the honor.
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