As announced last week, both Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz are headed to the All-Star Game in Tampa later this month to captain and coach the Metropolitan Division squad - and today we learned that the two of them would be joined by Braden Holtby.
Holtby will make his third-straight All-Star appearance, a franchise record for goaltenders, and will make up half of the Metropolitan’s goaltending duo alongside the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist. The honor is a well-deserved one for Holtby, who has a save percentage of .917 so far this season and is just a couple of months removed from being the second-fastest goaltender in NHL history to hit 200 career wins.
As is the case with any All-Star Game selection, you could make a case for plenty of others to make the team. Most notably among them? John Carlson, who is having a career year and is second among NHL defensemen in scoring with 34 points (5 goals, 29 assists).
Still, with each team needing a representative, the division teams consisting of just 11 players total, and Washington already having Ovechkin in as the Metro team captain, it’s not surprising that cuts had to be made - and it shouldn’t take away from the fact that both Ovechkin and Holtby are more than deserving of the honor.
Read more about the team’s All-Star representation, including Coach Trotz and the team’s equipment crew led by head equipment manager Brock Myles, below (via the Capitals):
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has been selected to participate in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, the NHL announced today, joining captain Alex Ovechkin, who was named captain of the Metropolitan Division on Jan. 3, and head coach Barry Trotz, who was named as the head coach for the Metropolitan Division on Jan. 7. The game will be played at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Sunday, Jan. 28.
This season marks Ovechkin’s franchise-record ninth selection to the NHL All-Star Game (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18) and the third-straight for Holtby, which is also a franchise record for goaltenders. Trotz will coach his second All-Star Game since joining Washington (2015-16). Additionally, Trotz worked as an assistant coach at the 2007 All-Star Game in Dallas.
Holtby has posted a record of 24-8-0 with a 2.68 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 32 games for the Capitals this season. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native ranks second in the NHL in wins (24), third in the Metropolitan Division among goaltenders with at least 30 games played in even strength save percentage (.926), third in penalty kill save percentage (.879) and fourth in goals-against average (2.68). Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of his 32 games this season and Washington has posted a 15-1-0 record in those games. On Nov. 10 versus Pittsburgh, Holtby recorded his 200th career win in his 319th career game, becoming the second-fastest player in NHL history to reach the milestone (Ken Dryden: 316).
In 339 career NHL games, Holtby is 215-81-31 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. Holtby is the second-fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach 215 career wins, behind only Dryden, who recorded his 215th career win in 333 games played. Since the 2013-14 season, Holtby ranks first in the NHL with 178 wins, ahead of Tuukka Rask (152) and Ben Bishop (149), respectively. Holtby is the franchise leader in goals against average (2.35) and save percentage (.921), among goaltenders with 100 Capitals games played, and second in games played (339) and wins (215). Holtby is currently three shutouts away from tying Olie Kolzig (35) for the franchise lead in shutouts.
Ovechkin has earned 12 points (6g, 6a) in six career All-Star Games (he did not play in the 2011-12 and 2015-16 game). The Moscow native is tied for first in the NHL in goals (27) and overtime goals (3) this season, second in shots (185) and tied for seventh in game-winning goals (5)
.On Dec. 4 versus San Jose, Ovechkin recorded his 578th career goal and passed Mark Recchi for 20th on the NHL’s all-time goals list and sits 17 goals shy of passing Jari Kurri for 19th in NHL history. Ovechkin is also four assists away from the 500 mark and can join Jaromir Jagr, Marian Hossa and Patrick Marleau as the only active players with at least 500 career goals and 500 assists. Additionally, he sits two game-winning goals shy of passing Jarome Iginla (101) for eighth place on the game-winning goals list. Ovechkin recorded his 100th game-winning goal on Jan. 2 and became one of just nine players in NHL history to record 100 game-winning goals, and established a new NHL record with 22 overtime markers.
Additionally, Ovechkin became the first player in the last 100 years to open the season with two consecutive hat tricks, and his 20 career hat tricks rank first in franchise history and tied for 14th in NHL history. Ovechkin is a six-time winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer. The 6’3”, 235-pound left wing ranks first in franchise history in goals (585), points (1,081), power-play goals (220), game-winning goals (100), overtime goals (22), shots (4,726) and multi-goal games (116).
On Dec. 30, Trotz recorded his 737th career win to become the fifth-winningest coach in NHL history. Trotz has posted a record of 183-76-30 since joining the Capitals in the 2014-15 season. During that span, Washington ranks first in cumulative wins (183), points (396), goals (878), goals against (687) and power play percentage (22.9).
In addition, Capitals head equipment manager Brock Myles was named the Metropolitan Division equipment manager. Myles is in his 12th season with Washington after spending the previous eight seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL). Myles will be joined by Capitals’ assistant equipment manager Craig “Woody” Leydig, equipment assistant Dave Marin and locker room assistant Ray Straccia.