Ben Raby at NHL.com talked to Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby about playing in what should be a very hostile environment this afternoon at MSG…
“It doesn’t bother me that much,” Holtby said. “That’s what everyone pays the money for is to have their two cents. It’s good. It’s not motivation, but it’s definitely fun… If someone was playing the [Toronto Blue] Jays in the playoffs or something, I’d probably heckle them, too. That’s what happens. It’s hockey. It’s fun. It adds to the intensity and it’s a good thing.”
…from what I’ve seen so far from the Caps young goaltender I don’t anticipate he’ll get rattled today. The Rangers need to make life as uncomfortable as possible for Holtby, which means lots of bodies to the net which the Blueshirts are not known for doing. Hopefully they can get to Holtby early, which could have him questioning himself.
Here were the Capitals lines in practice yesterday (via NHL.com):
Alex Ovechkin – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks – Jay Beagle – Jason Chimera
Mike Knuble – Keith Aucoin – Joel Ward
Mattias Sjogren – Jeff Halpern – Mathieu Perreault
Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik – Mike Green
Jeff Schultz – Dennis Wideman
John Erskine – Dmitry Orlov
Caps head coach Dale Hunter on the Rangers (via Washington Post)…
“We know that the Rangers won our conference and they were the top team all year. They play hard, they block shots, they’ve got good skill up front, a good goalie and their [defensemen] are strong. So we’ll have to be at our best.”
…unlike the Senators last series the Capitals are sounding like a humble bunch.