Braden Holtby Image – Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

The last time we shared a Braden Holtby Pro Reads, it was the eve of NHL free agency and he was coming off a bounce back .912 save percentage season with the Dallas Stars that had us hopeful there was more in store for the Vezina Trophy and Stanley Cup winner.

Now, with just a couple weeks until the start of training camp and confirmation from a source close to Holtby that his playing days are indeed past him, we return to those video breakdown sessions with a little more somber tone. But sad as it would be to envision an NHL without Holtby in it, we don’t want to waste any of his incredible insights reading plays, so we’ll make our way through the remaining 10 minutes of our sit down with Holtby during last season.

THE SCENARIO

This time Holtby is facing a rush chance against one of the best lines in hockey, the Boston Bruins Perfection Line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak:

Looking at the freeze frame above, with Marchand skating onto a puck left by Bergeron in the corner and Pastrnak skating unchecked to the backdoor, what is the primary threat?

We saw Holtby take ice against Artemi Panarin from closer range despite a similar backdoor option in one of his earlier breakdowns against the New York Rangers, so what is it about this threat Marchand that allow him to sit back closer to the post this time?

THE SAVE

Like every rush chance, the speed of the attack matters, so let’s watch the entire sequence:

It wasn’t hard to guess what was coming, especially with our headline, but what did you make of how Holtby played it? Given how obvious the impending pass was, did he seem at all late pushing across?

What about the way he used his stick? Was it risky?

THE PRO READ

Now let’s listen in as Holtby dissects the play, including his stick use, and a breakdown on how he timed his lateral push on Pastrnak that some might find very interesting:

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