Now a week since the Washington Capitals captured their first Stanley Cup in 43 seasons since joining the National Hockey League, it’s time to look at the masked man in the crease who led them there, Braden Holtby. In the Caps’ Stanley Cup-winning season, Holtby performed as well as he ever has in the playoffs, leading his team to a championship many counted them out of this season. After finishing what can now only be called the best season of his career, let’s take a look at how Holtby was snubbed of a shot at another Vezina Trophy.
Both the Western Conference Final and the Eastern Conference Final were interesting in this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, notably because of the goalie matchups in both series. Marc-Andre Fleury and Connor Hellebuyck faced off in the West, with Braden Holtby and Andrei Vasilevskiy meeting in the East. The most interesting takeaway is that both the veteran goalies, Fleury and Holtby, led their teams past the playoff rookies Hellebuyck and Vasilevskiy for a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. Here’s a look at the details of each series, and all four goalies who were a part of them.