Monday night, Braden Holtby not only beat the Detroit Red Wings for his first NHL win of the season, but he also beat the heat at the Joe Louis Arena. Holtby found out on the flight from Chicago to Detroit Sunday night that he would be getting his first NHL start since losing 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks on February 13.
However, what he didn’t know was that the 85-degree temperature outside of Joe Louis Arena would turn the building into a giant sweat box. The 22-year-old netminder would go on to battle dehydration on his way to stopping 30 of 33 shots in the Capitals’ 5-3 victory over the Red Wings.
Holtby went on to say that he felt good through the first two periods, and he looked good only giving up one goal, but the heat caught up to him in the third as he suffered from cramps the entire last stanza. About midway through the period during a commercial break, Holtby skated to the bench to get a hydration pill from the trainers to help him finish out the game. Holtby said that no matter how many pounds he shed, he was not going to be denied his first win of the season.
“You would have had to pull me off the ice.” -Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals Goaltender
Karl Alzner said that the game felt like it was one against Tampa Bay or Florida, saying that the team had the fans and air conditioning on full blast in the locker room in between periods.
Nonetheless, the Capitals and Holtby trudged through the heat and a late surge by the Red Wings to hold on for the 5-3 win. Now the question is, does Michal Neuvirth or Braden Holtby start the next game in Philadelphia on Thursday?