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Holtby’s been huge in Caps postseason success

Braden Holtby has been great all year for the Capitals but he has been remarkable this postseason and might just lead them to the Eastern Conference finals.

Braden Holtby has been great all year for the Capitals but he has been remarkable this postseason and might just lead them to the Eastern Conference finals.

Even despite their 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Friday, the Washington Capitals are still in control of the series against the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They need just one win in two chances to advance to their first Eastern Conference finals since 1998. Their first shot at getting that fourth victory of the series will be at home, in the comforts of the Verizon Center.

When you think about Capitals advancing, you’d imagine it would be because of their star forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. They led one of the top scoring offenses in the league this year, with the team averaging nearly three goals per game. Ovechkin led the league with 53 goals, 10 more than Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos’s second-ranked total.

But it is not about their offense right now. The Capitals are leading the the Rangers, which led the league with 53 wins and 113 team points this season, because of their goalkeeper Braden Holtby.

Hotlby was very good this season, finishing with a 92.4-save percentage and only 2.22 goals allowed per game. This postseason, though, he has taken his game to a knew level, allowing only 1.51 goals per game and saving 95.1-percent of the shots he has been faced with. Impressively, he’s done it against two of the elite scoring offenses in the league. Holtby has allowed only 17 goals in 11 games. In a six-game series against the Islanders, which ranked fourth in the league with 2.99 goals per game this year, he gave up only 10 goals. So far, through four games against the Rangers, which ranked third in the league with a 3.02 goals per game average, just seven.

The Capitals, which ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference this year with a 45-26 record, at just one victory away from advancing to the Conference finals and it is not because of their three-time, possibly four-time Hart Memorial trophy winner.

That is when teams become dangerous in the postseason, when unexpected heroes step up and play better than anybody else expected. Eventually, Ovechkin is bound to start scoring more but Holtby does not appear like he is going to cool off any time soon. So far, he just might be the most outstanding player of the playoffs and they reason why the Caps have reason to be very optimistic they can stay alive for a while longer.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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