Capitals

Quick Links

Trotz sends strong message to team by pulling Holtby

holtby.jpg

Trotz sends strong message to team by pulling Holtby

Braden Holtby has had a Vezina-caliber season thus far, but the first half of Friday's game against Tampa Bay was not among his best. The Caps netminder gave up three goals in just 12 shots to the Lightning, prompting Barry Trotz to pull Holtby in favor of Philipp Grubauer. In so doing, Trotz hoped to send a strong message, but not to Holtby.

"We've got so used to Braden being so strong for us we tend to be a little loose sometimes and he's been erasing our mistakes," Trotz said.  "I was sort of making a statement, ok, enough's enough.

"He's been our MVP from game one on. Why are we doing this to him? So I pulled him out and put Grubi in."

RELATED: Why it was deja vu all over again for Grubauer

Even with Friday's game, Holtby has registered a .931 save percentage and leads the NHL with a 1.92 GAA. There have been a number of games in which he has carried the Caps to a victory despite the team being outplayed by the opposition. Trotz wanted to make sure the team knew Friday that this time, they were on their own.

"I told them between periods. I said, let's get one thing straight, this is not a reflection on Braden's play. This was on everyone else's play."

"I think that that was just kind of a message to us that Trotzie's not going to let him bail us out tonight, we're going to have to do it ourselves," Taylor Chorney said.

It's a message the team heard loud and clear as they rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3. It was the first time the Caps had erased a three-goal deficit to win in regulation since Oct. 16, 2008.

For his part, Holtby understood that the 3-0 deficit was not all on his shoulders.

"It's a little easier to move forward when I can look at the film and know those goals, there's not much I can really do on them," Holtby said. "They happen. It's just that fact that you want to do more. You want to help the team a bit more."

Those games will happen. The important thing for the Caps, who have looked dependent on their netminder in recent weeks, is that they showed they can win even when Holtby's not at his best.

Notes from practice:

Knicked up? Alex Ovechkin left practice early after getting "knicked up" per the team, but it does not appear to be serious and every indication is that Ovechkin's status for Sunday's game is not in doubt.

Maintenance: Justin Williams had a maintenance day on Saturday and did not practice. Stanislav Galiev skated in his place on the second line.

MORE CAPITALS: Refusing to lose: Caps stun Lightning with emotional comeback

Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

caps-faceoff-101.png
USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What does the future hold?

In this week's mailbag podcast, JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir answer several questions about the Caps' prospects and Hershey.

How does the future look on the farm? Plus, they talk about potential weaknesses, their biggest surprises and more!

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

MORE CAPS NEWS:

Quick Links

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

islanders.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

MORE CAPS NEWS: