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McKenzie: Holtby has busy night but delivers for Capitals

Bob McKenzie
4/20/2012 2:23:36 AM
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Thoughts from the NHL on TSN Panel on Thursday night:

Busy Night For Holtby

Braden Holtby made 44 saves on 45 shots to lead the Washington Capitals to victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, but it's not the busiest that Holtby has ever been.

In his first WHL game, a 16-year-old Holtby was called up from the Saskatoon Blazers to play for the Blades and he stopped 49 of 53 shots.

Thursday night was a bigger stage, as he found himself in the Stanley Cup playoffs trying to get his team back in the series.

The result was grand theft larceny on the part of Holtby.

In one sense, it's ludicrous to compare him to Ken Dryden because Dryden won a Stanley Cup as a rookie. However, we can point out that his start for the playoffs has been Dryden-esque for Holtby.

It was Dryden up against the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins, when he weaved his magic and after four games the series was tied 2-2.

The rookie Holtby finds himself in the same situation right now.    

Time Was On Their Side

There was 9.5 seconds left at the faceoff.

The timekeeper was trying to get the referees attention to tell him not to drop the puck because they needed to add 0.9 seconds to make it 10.4 seconds left in the game.

While the timekeeper was yelling at the referee and they were letting the horn go, the referee couldn't hear anything because the Verizon Center is so loud.

The timekeeper then didn't start the clock and 5.3 seconds elapsed before he actually got it started.

If Boston had scored at the end of the game, the NHL would have had to disallow any goal from 5.3 seconds left to the end of the game.

Can you imagine the mayhem of trying to explain that to the Bruins if they had scored.

Relying On Their Stars

On Thursday night, the New Jersey Devils got the lead over the Florida Panthers,  they didn't give it up and this time there was no question in the goaltending.

If the Devils are going to make noise in these playoffs, they are going to make it with their big boys. Their big boys are none other than Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur.

Parise and Kovalchuk each had a goal in Game 4 and made things happen offensively.

At the other end of the ice, there had been so much talk about Brodeur being pulled last game, about his playoff record recently and the fact the Devils haven't made it to the second round of the playoffs.

Brodeur came through with an outstanding shutout performance that moves his past Patrick Roy on the all-time list for goaltenders.

If the Devils are going to make that playoff noise, those are the guys that are going to do it.

Bob McKenzie

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