The Capitals’ star goalie shares insights into his life on and off the ice.
The Washington Capitals are thrilling hometown fans with a historically dominant season. But what’s extra special is that on a team full of explosive goal scorers like Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov, it’s the guy keeping the puck out of the net, Braden Holtby, who may just be the team’s MVP. His personal season statistics will likely go down as one of the most successful goaltending campaigns in NHL history. But Holtby is focused on one prize: Washington’s first Stanley Cup.
WL: How does living in Washington compare to Canada? Was Washington what you expected and what do you like most about the city?
BH: I’m from a small town in Canada, so I had to adjust a bit upon moving to such a busy city. I love D.C. We’ve been fortunate to settle into a really great area in the region [Old Town Alexandria, Va.] with a nice, close-knit community feel to it, sort of like living in a small town but with all the benefits D.C. offers, from historical sites and restaurants to shopping and events.
WL: You and your wife Brandi have two small children. How do you manage taking care of two infants and staying well rested for games?
BH: It’s tough, but we manage. On practice and off-days I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time with them as a regular dad while keeping up with routines that keep me rested for game days. We have summers off so we use that time to recover mentally and physically and spend as much time together as a family then, too. During the season while I’m gone, my wife and kids meet up with friends with children at parks and get out in the community and stay busy. We’ve met some great families through the preschool program and the kids have a lot of playdates that keep them busy when I’m on the road with the team.
WL: Who was your favorite athlete growing up and why?
BH: Growing up, it was Derek Jeter. I liked the way he’s the ultimate professional. He always came up big in the big games.
WL: Pittsburgh, Philly, N.Y. Rangers. Who do you consider your biggest rival and why?
BH: They are all pretty similar but we have played the Rangers more in the playoffs, so you have to say them.
WL: In practice, who has the best shootout moves?
BH: T.J. Oshie by far.
WL: Obviously he’s one of the best in the league but who’s second best? And is it even close?
BH: On our team, Kuzy [Evgeny Kuznetsov] and Backy [Nicklas Bäckström] are second best, tied closely behind Osh [T.J. Oshie]. Kuzy is very skilled in the shootout and Backy can be pretty sneaky in how he moves the puck, which works well to our advantage.
BRADEN HOLTBY’S TOP SPOTS
Billy Reid (3211 M Street NW) Billy Reid is an amazing designer and the boutique is one of my favorite places to get suits.
National Building Museum (401 F St. NW) The museum has a great location in D.C. and there’s always a unique exhibit to explore and learn from.
Virtue Feed & Grain (106 S. Union St., Alexandria, Va.) This is one of my favorite spots. The food, along with the bar atmosphere, is a great combination.
Chadwicks (203 Strand St., Alexandria, Va.) Another one of my favorites in Old Town. It is a nice English pub with a good menu.
Firehook Bakery (430 S Washington St., Alexandria, Va.) Whenever I want to please my sweet tooth or just have a nice cup of coffee, this is my favorite spot.
Read the full story in the April 2016 issue of Washington Life below.