#1: Nick Holden
What happened to Nick Holden in these playoffs? It seemed like he was a lock to be around next season and that seems like a lock to not happen after these playoffs.
Holden was fatally bad on defense. He scored a couple of nice goals that gave him some redemption, but not nearly enough. His defensive positioning was that of a six-year-old that skipped the practices and was just in it for the games, but he’s bad in the games.
You don’t have to look too far to see an example of such positioning. The first goal for Ottawa in game six works perfectly. Mike Hoffman went to the front of the net with more than a stick length of room from Nick Holden. The shot came in and Hoffman was able to easily redirect it past Holden. Comically enough, right in front of Holden actually.
I am no defensive guru, but I know that Holden should have had a body on Hoffman. It’s just about the biggest job of the defenseman is to defend the front of the net. Holden didn’t do it here, and a couple other times too.
This is just one of many instances where Holden wasn’t where we was supposed to be. Thanks to that, the Rangers aren’t where they are supposed to be: traveling to Ottawa for a game seven.