Washington Capitals: Five Bold Predictions For 2015-2016

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Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Holtby Will Win The Vezina

Of course he will because this post is all about bold predictions! Braden Holtby had an excellent season last year for the Washington Capitals. That could be just be the beginning of a run of dominance by the Caps netminder. Holtby is just entering the prime of his career. He has as good of a shot as anyone not named Carey Price at winning the Vezina Trophy.

Holtby finished sixth in save percentage last season among goalies with at least 38 games played. He also had the fourth lowest GAA (2.22). He did that despite facing 2,044 shots on goal (the most in the NHL) and playing in 73 games (the most in the NHL). Let’s look at what he’s likely going to do even better in 2015-2016.

  1. The Washington Capitals offense and defense will be better. That will likely mean that Holtby will face fewer shots on goal. Fewer shots on goal mean fewer goals. Simple math.
  2. The NHL is starting to embrace advanced stats in goaltending. One of them is high-danger save percentage. Holtby led all goalies with at least 1750 minutes at even-strength with an 86.86% even-strength high-danger save percentage.

It will be hard for Holtby to overcome Price. However, it’s quite likely that he’s going to regress at least a little bit this season. The last goalie to have two straight seasons with a 93% save percentage or higher? Hasek. Can Price do what very few have been able to do? Can Price continue to carry the Canadiens? We’ll have to see. If he falters, Holtby could be the next man up on the Vezina totem pole.

Next: The Boldest Of All Of The Bold Predictions