One of the most overused cliches in hockey, especially playoff hockey, is any comment on the state of a goaltender’s “composure.”
In reality, few of us actually know what’s going on between a goalie’s ears, and while we see a netminder having a great game in April, May or June, that very goalie could be shaking in his
In this case, however, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 22-year-old Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has been blessed with both composure beyond his years and some quality nerves of steel.
Forget the fact that at 22, in just his 27th career start (sixth career playoff start), he stopped 31 of 32 shots in a Game 7 win against the defending champs. I’m more impressed with the composure shown on this play:
After Holtby and John Carlson play a little back and forth with Rich Peverley in front of the Washington net, Peverley decides he’s going to be a tough guy and attempts to rattle the young Caps goalie by swinging his stick at him, then stopping just short of making contact with Holtby.
As you can see, Braden was having none of it, and didn’t show the slightest sign of a flinch, even looking down on Peverley as if he were a mere ant of a man among a giant.
This is the classic scene in a slasher movie when the protagonist thinks they’ve finally inflicted some damage on the lunatic, only to realize that Freddy, Jason, whoever, is merely laughing while now going in for the kill.
Better luck next time, Rich.