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in F r e i s t i l 10.10.2018 04:54
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When Braden Holtby took some time off in February Rashaan Gaulden Jersey , playing in only nine of the Washington Capitals‘ 14 games, he finally had a chance to reflect on aspects of his game.

It might seem easy to say being benched in favor of Philipp Grubauer for the first two games of the postseason ignited Holtby’s standout playoff run. But he credits his midseason reprieve for a revival that pushed him and Washington into the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. Game 1 in Monday night.

”It was great to just have a break in February where I could really analyze myself in a game, go to work, kind of get back to those roots and just working as hard as I possibly can to figure out different things of myself and the game,” Holtby said. ”This year I think is one of those years where I’ve learned more and soaked in more knowledge than previous years.”

The 28-year-old veteran enters the Final with a 12-6 playoff mark, a 2.04 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. The Capitals haven’t allowed a goal in 159 minutes, 27 seconds, since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay – including 157:13 with Holtby on the ice.

Several key members of the Golden Knights are no strangers to Holtby, including general manager George McPhee, goalie coach Dave Prior and defenseman Nate Schmidt, a trio that have been a part of the Capitals organization during their careers. It was Prior who recommended McPhee and company draft Holtby in 2008 http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-leonard-fournette-jersey , when the Capitals made him the second pick of the fourth round (and the 10th goalie taken in the draft).

Holtby said Prior, who has helped Vegas goalie and three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury improve aspects of his game this season, taught him ways to analyze his game he would have never thought of.

”He’s obviously one of the best, he helped me a ton,” Holtby said. ”He taught me how to practice correctly, how to really analyze my game honestly and grow in different ways. Before, as a young kid, I just thought if you could just work as hard as you can, that’s how you get better. But there’s strategic ways and he was awesome, very calm, very unbiased watching games.”

Schmidt said a common comparison between Holtby and Fleury is easy to see.

”Both guys are very athletic Jamaal Williams Jersey ,” Schmidt said. ”That’s something I knew about Fleury a little bit, and it’s caused a lot of heartache to me over the years. You see that kind of thing with guys who are never out of a save. That’s what makes both of them special players.”

Holtby’s regular-season numbers (2.99 GAA, .907 save percentage) are a career worst. He said taking time to focus on things he never was able to do during a regular season has helped ease his mind and relieve certain pressures he was putting on himself during games.

”Obviously throughout my career of hockey playing, you know that putting too much pressure on yourself and doing too much is never that good,” Holtby said. ”And I got caught up trying to do too much, and it never works too well, and it ended up snowballing.”

Snowballing to the tune of him allowing four or more goals in eight of the 16 games he played during January and February. But over his last eight regular-season appearances in March, he finished 6-2 and never allowed more than three goals. He’s allowed three or fewer goals in 17 of the 18 playoff games he’s played in.

”I’ve learned a lot of valuable things about myself, about the way hockey is now, it’s changed,” Holtby said. ”You have to play a little different than in the past with the speed and the way the game is mostly all about offense now. It’s different that way and I think that was one thing I had to learn.”



More Stanley Cup coverage:

Former No. 1 overall draft pick David Carr believes that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlsberger is currently being carried by star skill position players like running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Carr offered his ranking of the top ten quarterback in the NFL heading into the 2018 season and did not include Roethlisberger on his list. He had Roethlisberger DaeSean Hamilton Color Rush Jersey , Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz just outside the top ten.

“Yes, he’s a future Hall of Famer and there’s no doubt he can still help the Steelers,” Carr wrote of his rationale for the exclusion of Roethlisberger. “But he has the most talented skill players in the league on his unit, and that pair — Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell — makes him look great 14 seasons in. I don’t think Big Ben could win a ton of games without them at this stage in his career.”

Roethlisberger is 36 years old and is preparing for his 15th year with the Steelers. He surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the fifth time in his career last season, throwing for 4,251 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also completed 64.2 percent of his passes, which is consistent with his career averages.

There is no question that Roethlisberger benefits from the presence of Bell and Brown on Pittsburgh’s roster. Trying to quantify how much of an impact they have on Roethlisberger continuing to be able to produce at such a high level is far more difficult.

Carr’s top ten list featured Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Derek Carr Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey , Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Jimmy Garoppolo. The inclusion of Garoppolo at this stage could be somewhat questionable given his limited sample size of games played, but it’s Carr’s opinion to give.

David Carr was selected by the Houston Texans with the first pick of the 2002 NFL Draft.

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