One of the many annoying things about this seemingly never-ending lockout, particularly for fans of the Washington Capitals, is that we are being denied the opportunity to witness the next chapter in the gripping story that is Braden Holtby.
As most will recall, Holtby came from practically out-of-nowhere last spring to lead the Caps to a stunning first-round upset of the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and Tim Thomas.
Holtby, proving his stellar performance against Boston was no fluke, then very nearly upended the top seeded New York Rangers and Vezina trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist before falling in a great seven-game Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Along the way, Holtby posted a 1.95 goals against average.
Only Jonathan Quick, who won the Conn Smythe trophy as the MVP of the 2012 NHL playoffs, and Lundqvist had a better goals against average than Holtby, among goalies who played more than 10 playoff games last year.
Holtby also had a .935 save percentage.
Only Quick and Phoenix's Mike Smith had a better save percentage among goalies playing in more than 10 playoff games.
Suffice it to say, Braden Holtby had a tremendous postseason, no matter how you try and measure it.
It was so solid that it was pretty much a given that Holtby would enter training camp as the Caps' starting goaltender.
Then the lockout came, and now all we can do is wait and wonder what might have been.
As great as Holtby was during the playoffs though, it is not all peaches and cream as far as the notion of Holtby being starting goaltender is concerned. There is plenty to be excited and optimistic about.
But there are some reasons to remain cautious.
Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of Braden Holtby being the Caps starting goaltender.