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Holtby or Varlamov?

By Rodger M. WoodHolbyWhether they realize it or not, the Capitals are blessed with an unusual goalie dilemma.They have three good young goalies but still need to decide which, Braden Holtby or Semyon Varlamov, they will keep up with the big club to share goaltending with Michal Neuvirth in the playoffs?Called up to the Bell Centre in emergency last Sunday, rookie goalie Braden Holtby, looking like a pit bull guarding his turf, stopped 18 shots to shutout Montreal 2-0.At the Verizon Center Tuesday, with veteran superstars Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott back in the lineup, Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 of 26 shots in regulation and overtime, but missing Hurricanes Jeff Skinner and Tuomu Ruutu’s shots lost 3-2 to Carolina in the overtime shootout.He looked bad on Jeff Skinner’s goal which tied the game 2-2 at the 1:46 mark of the third period.A free agent at the end at the end this season, Varlamov has indicated he is open to both Kontinental League and Caps offers this Summer.In his first 14 NHL games this season, Holtby has a goal against average of 1.79, 10 wins, 2 losses, 2 shutouts, and 934 save %.He was named the NHL First Star of the Week ending March 13th for his 4-0-0 W-L record, 1.05 GAA, 965 SV %, and shutout against Edmonton.In 26 GPI, Varlamov has a GAA of 2.24, 10 wins, 9 losses, 2 shutouts, and a 923 Save %.Injury prone, Varlie missed 15 games between October 21st and November 24th, and 14 games, between February 20 to March 25th.Holtby is durable, playing in 23 games at Hershey and 14 for the Caps, a total of 37 this season.So far the Caps are sticking with Varlamov, having sent Holtby back to Hershey March 27th, but if Varlamov falters, the jury’s still out. Hershey is only about two hours from Washington. DC, and the rookie goaltender can always be called back.Bookmark and Share

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