All the days of hype are through and it’s time for Braden Holtby
to face the reality.
The Washington Capitals
rookie goaltender is going to be the starter in net for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Bruins
at TD Garden on Thursday night.
After playing in six of the nine games he dressed for during Washington’s late-season push for a playoff spot, Holtby is trying to just keep everything about his preparation consistent prior to his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut.
“Not much, I’m just trying to go about my usual ways. If you start changing things up, you get too wrapped up in everything. I just want to go have fun,” said Holtby after his team’s morning skate.
Coach Dale Hunter
said there’s not much he can say to Holtby to prepare the 22-year-old.
“He’s been kind of in the fire for the last two or three weeks here playing some tough games. So you know he’s a confident kid and you know he can’t wait to play,” Hunter said.
Center Jay Beagle
didn’t skate, but according to Hunter it was an optional skate. Injured goaltender Michal Neuvirth
was on the ice but he doesn’t figure to dress.
Here is the Capitals’ projected lineup:
Alexander Ovechkin - Brooks Laich
- Troy Brouwer
- Nicklas Backstrom
- Alexander Semin
- Jay Beagle
- Marcus Johansson
- Mathieu Perreault
- Joel Ward
- John Carlson
- Mike Green
- Dennis Wideman
If Beagle doesn't play, expect veteran Mike Knuble
to earn a sweater in his place.