Published On: Fri, Aug 26th, 2016

Holtby: Price 'the smart choice' to start for Team Canada

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Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Braden Holtby is both honest and self-aware.

While the reigning Vezina Trophy winner would love to be in the crease for Team Canada when it opens the World Cup on Sept. 17, he knows who should be there.

“All of us want to play, but if Carey (Price) is healthy, there’s no reason not to go with him,” Holtby said, according to The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan. “He has all of the experience internationally and the smart choice obviously would be that.”

Holtby won’t sulk. He’s a team-first guy, especially when representing his country, and he’ll support his teammates whether he’s starting or watching from the bench.

And Price was the man for Canada at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. He had a .972 save percentage and 0.59 goals-against average in five games behind a formidable Canadian squad. His 2014-15 season was the best of his career, as he posted a .933 save percentage and won 44 games. Injuries robbed him of all but 12 games in 2015-16.

Holtby’s only international experience came with Canada’s Under-18 squad in 2006-07.

Canada’s third goaltender for the tournament is two-time Stanley Cup winner Corey Crawford. In other words, there’s no issue, regardless of who’s in the crease.

Holtby won a record-tying 48 games last season, as the Washington Capitals ran roughshod over the league. He’s won 89 regular-season games over the past two seasons, finishing with save percentages of .923 (2014-15) and .922 (2015-16).

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