Originally Posted by Scribe
Interesting points about Neuvirth/Holtby. That is a concern of mine. I'm also a little worried about Bobrovsky as Mason seems to have remembered how to stop a puck after forgetting that important skill for a couple of seasons.
Just out of curiosity, what is it about Holtby that makes you think he's not a No. 1? Is it the way Oates is using him this season, or was it something you saw in the playoffs last year?
Holtby's SV% pattern concerns me.
Young goalies have a few stages:
1. The absolutely no-pressure spot-start stage.
2. The back-up stage, little pressure because they aren't supposed to be the best goalie on the team.
3. The bonafide #1 goalie stage.***
***This last one is the one where young goalies typically struggle. If they can get through it, they'll be OK. Holtby has gotten consistently worse as his responsibility has been increased. Overall, I think Washington is a very tough place to play. Their leader (Ovechkin) is a bit snug and I would imagine it's hard to get behind him and take everything seriously. The coaching carousel isn't good for any goalie's confidence. And the defense is basically Carlson-Alzner and band-aids.
Any goalie has to show some signs of being able to handle the pressure. In 9 games this season, Holtby (the team's #1 goalie... ?) hasn't strung together two great starts yet. At best, the last two might be considered "good". But he's been a sinking ship this year and it's been a fairly consistent thing in Washington. Their last 4 or 5 goalies have all flailed until they switched locations. Holtby appears no different to me.