Braden Holtby: The apple of his parents’ eyes

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) makes a save in the second period of Game 2 of the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York, Monday, April 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Brennan Haselton,

NEW YORK – No one loves Braden Holtby more than fans of the Washington Capitals. Except, of course, mom and dad.

Standing in her red Caps jersey in the nearly empty Madison Square Garden after Washington’s crucial Game 2 victory over the New York Rangers Monday night, Tami Holtby grinned from ear to ear.

“I am feeling fantastic,” Holtby said. “This was so much fun, and the outcome couldn’t be better.”

Her 22-year-old son had just notched another impressive performance, swatting away laser beam shots from the Rangers.

“He played great and he’s having the time of his life,” she said. “And we are, too.”

As for how the remainder of the seven game series with the Rangers might go, Mrs. Holtby sounded as confident as any cocky Caps fan.

“Oh, the Caps are going to win the whole thing. Yeah, absolutely,” she said.

A couple rows over, Braden’s dad, Greg Holtby, posed for pictures with fans.

“It was a pretty exciting game, that close?” Mr. Holtby said.

Watching the Capitals-Bruins series from home in Saskatchewan, Canada, he said, “was pretty tense, being that far away. But it’s just as tense being here and this crowd was loud. It was phenomenal.”

He says his son’s recent stand-out performances make him feel “real good.”

But Mr. Holtby added, “I’ve been around enough to know it’s not just one person. They’re playing very well in front of him and an extremely defensive style at the moment. And they’re all buying in. It’s been exciting to watch.

Dad, however, is not as supremely confident sounding as mom.

“I think it’s going to be tight like that all the way through” he said. “You know, the Rangers have a great team, some great players and they’re going to bounce back. It’s going to be tight.”

Of course, Caps fans hope the vision in Mrs. Holtby’s crystal ball is the correct one.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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