BOSTON -- A few days ago, Braden Holtby admitted he had only done a few media interviews during his time in the American Hockey League this season.
With each performance in this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series, the 22-year-old rookie goaltender for the Washington Capitals faced more and more attention as he became the breakout star of the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There he was again Wednesday night inside the visiting dressing room at TD Garden, removing his equipment piece by piece as a horde of reporters and people holding television cameras crowded around him and waited. He calmly went about his postgame routine before pulling on a sweat-stained Capitals hat and answering questions about how his seventh-seeded club had just knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champions.
I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.
— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website