When talking about the best goaltenders in the NHL today, there are two that are usually mentioned each time.
Braden Holtby and Carey Price are two elite netminders that have accomplished a lot in this league, have won individual awards, and for the most part, have been consistent. They’re also both masked men that play similar styles and keep things extremely simple with their movements between the pipes.
With that said, there is one difference that really separates the two and that is their play in the postseason. While this is the first time that Holtby, 28, has won a Cup, his numbers are quite impressive at the most important time of the year.
Holtby has posted a 2.04 GAA, a .929 save percentage, and six shutouts. Yes, he and his club had consistently been knocked out of the playoffs in the first or second round, prior to last season, but that was certainly not because of him.
At the other end, Price, 30, has played pretty well (2.53 GAA, .914 save percentage, and five shutouts) in the postseason, but has only gotten his team through the first round twice and has had trouble coming up with the big save when his team needs it the most.
While the numbers are somewhat similar, it is the big saves that separate the two in a big way. Holtby’s unbelievable stop in the final minutes of the third period in his team’s 3-2 victory in Game 2 won his team the hockey game.
Yes, Price makes unbelievable saves as well, but not in the playoffs when it really matters. Obviously, that can’t all be put on Price because the team in front of him wasn’t always at their best in the playoffs, but sometimes, a big save can cover up a club’s ineptness in a certain area of the game.
With that said, Price cannot be blamed for what has happened when his team is in the playoffs. Unlike the Capitals, the Habs are not known for scoring a lot of goals, they have a suspect defense, and do not have the same depth that the Caps have.
There have been times in the playoffs when Price has played well in a game, but the team in front of him did not do enough to get the job done. That is obviously not Price’s fault when that happens.
With all of that said, however, Carey still needs to be better in the playoffs once his team gets in. To do that, maybe he should take a page out of Holtby’s book and start making the big saves when it matters.