NHL Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals Need Better Season From Braden Holtby Next Year

Braden Holtby

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot to like about the last two months of the 2013 NHL regular season for the Washington Capitals.

As the offseason begins in Washington, I think there needs to be a serious discussion about the team’s goaltender Braden Holtby and what to do with him going forward. Washington had a 2-0 series lead in their first round playoff series before losing four of the last five games. Holtby gave up at least four goals in three of those games. That isn’t going to work on a consistent basis if this team wants to win a Stanley Cup.

I don’t dispute that Holtby got better and better as the regular season wound down and gave up only 22 goals in his last 10 regular season games. I can accept giving up 2.2 goals a game on average, but not four goals a game, though. There is only so much that Alex Ovechkin can do on offense and he isn’t going to score five goals a game.

The good thing is that Holtby is just 23-years old and will be 24 when next season begins. He needs to improve on his 2.58 goals against average from this season. He had a very slow start after the lockout and gave up six goals in two of his first four games. Washington can’t afford to dig themselves into that deep of a hole again next season.

Holtby needs to step up his game and take it to a new level. The Capitals may be facing a do-or-die situation with their chances of winning the whole thing.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.