Will The Pens Continue To Own Caps Goaltender Holtby?

NHL on NBC's Pierre McGuire says Holtby is riding a wave of confidence into 2nd round

The Fan Morning Show
April 25, 2018 - 12:00 pm
Braden Holtby

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Braden Holtby has not beaten the Penguins in a playoff series in two tries and may have speculated that the Pens are just in his head. NHL on NBC analyst Pierre McGuire joined The Fan Morning Show today and cautioned Penguins fans who believe that history is bound to repeat itself with Washington's goaltender.

"I don't know whether Pittsburgh's in Braden Holtby's head or not but I do know one thing," said McGuire. "It's a troubling trend for Braden because he doesn't have a lot of troubling trends, he's usually a very, very sound player."

"The one thing I'd caution Penguins fans on is Braden Holtby didn't start the series with Columbus.But he finished it, and he kept the series on the rails after he replaced Phillip Grubauer and I don't believe they beat Columbus in six games, especially winning game three and four in Columbus, if it's not for Braden Holtby. So, he's coming in en fuego right now and you better be ready for a guy that's got a whole surge of confidence that he maybe didn't have going into the playoffs." 

As far as Pittsburgh's goaltender goes, McGuire spoke to the faction of Penguins fans that continue to favor Marc-Andre Fleury over Matt Murray.

"He was a guy that really got the Penguins, along with Crosby, back on track," said McGuire. "What people remember is the save Marc-Andre Fleury made against Nic Lindstrom with time running out in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena, so it's an iconic moment in Pittsburgh Penguin history. So that helps fuel the fires for Marc-Andre Fleury."

Pierre went on to say that he spoke to Randy Sexton, then the director of amateur scouting for the Penguins (now the assistant GM to Jason Botterill in Buffalo), about the Matt Murray pick at 83rd overall in the 2012 NHL Draft and he said that they thought Murray would be a superstar in the NHL because "his character is beyond reproach and we haven't traded a player this mature since we've been here." 

Pierre also commented on the Capitals' Tom Wilson's game and whether he will be able to cause some trouble in this series.

"The one thing I was very impressed with from the Penguins in their series with the Flyers, they didn't retaliate like I'm used to seeing the Penguins retaliate," said McGuire. "They didn't melt down. I think that speaks to Mike [Sullivan] and the staff and what they've been able to do so I don't expect Tommy [Wilson] to be able to get in the heads of the Penguins, no."   

You can hear the entire interview with NHL on NBC's Pierre McGuire on The Fan Morning Show below.