Tha Sports Junkies 101

Three Players to Watch in Stadium Series

Stadium Series Photo credit to Kevin Harber Flickr


Three Players to Watch in Stadium Series

Within the NHL there are several special events within a year. The annual All-Star game, as well as the Winter Classic, are staples of the season for the National Hockey league. These two events, and much more serve as a break from the regular season games. Not only do the games provide a different venue in which to observe the game of hockey, but it also pays tribute to the outdoor games many experience growing up. The Winter Classic is the most widely-known game, but the Stadium Series’ have improved in popularity greatly.

This year the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium hosts an exciting matchup. The Washington Capitals are going up against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7:00 pm CST. With such a great amount of star power, and high-quality jerseys; it should be a great event to behold. Along with the lead-up to this game, there are three players to watch. There are several superstars on both sides; however, three stick out whom will have a great effect on the game.

Auston Matthews

At only 20-years old, Matthews has quickly reached stardom within the NHL. With his incredible play in front of the passionate fans of Toronto, the first overall pick has lived up to his hype and potential so far. Matthews has the ability to control the game around him with a great amount of poise and maturity.


This season has only enforced the truth behind his maturity. Auston Matthews had an incredible rookie campaign–scoring 69 points over 82 games last year. His reliability and impressive scoring led to 40 goals out of those 69 points. His leadership and overall poise will be on display on a big stage tonight. The Stadium Series will be even more energized with Matthews’ speed and play.

Braden Holtby

Consistent. That is one word that has found its way into any discussion regarding the next player in the three players to watch–Braden Holtby. The 28-year old netminder for the Washington Capitals has not had a save percentage of less than .922 for the past three seasons, and his Goals Against Average peaked at an impressive 2.22 over the same time period. Without a doubt, Holtby has been solid in net for the Capitals despite limited playoff success. However, this season has been an anomaly for the Canadian goalie.

Throughout this season, Braden Holtby has been on a roller coaster ride of play. Initially being brushed off due to his history of solid performance; he is being questioned now as to what is going on. His save percentage and Goals Against Average are the highest he has ever had over his NHL career. Holtby’s past five games have been less than impressive as well–adding to the concern. Over that period, he has not given up less than 3 goals per game. It will be interesting to see how Holtby performs tonight under the added pressure of an outdoor game.

Frederik Andersen

The last of the three players to watch; Andersen has been a great example of dedication for the Maple Leafs. This year he has taken on yet another season of incredible work. Through the 66 games Toronto has played, Andersen has provided 54 starts and 54 games played. Without a doubt, he is the top choice in net for Mike Babcock. The level of performance that Andersen has been able to put out has only increased after his move to the Maple Leafs a few off-seasons ago. This season is no different by any means.

Andersen has put up a .922 save percentage through his 54 games played. This is astounding when taking into consideration the number of shots put on him. Without Andersen, the Maple Leafs would be a completely different and less-successful team. Look for Andersen to take his high-quality performance to the next level tonight on the outdoor stage.