Braden Holtby was annoyed. Capitals teammate Brett Connolly knows the feeling.
During warm-ups ahead of Washington’s win over Vegas on Wednesday in D.C., Holtby flipped a puck over the glass in the direction of a boy in a Capitals T-shirt. A man in a suit intercepted the souvenir, and while he immediately looked to Holtby for guidance on which kid in the vicinity was the intended recipient, he tossed the puck back over the glass to a kid standing behind the boards rather than giving it to the boy.
Holtby, visibly exasperated, held his arms out, palms turned upward, as if to say, “Dude, what the heck, man?” The Capitals’ goalie then retrieved another puck, returned to the same spot along the boards and motioned for the man in the suit to get out of the way with a wave of his stick. The man obliged and the boy in the Capitals T-shirt made a clean catch of Holtby’s second toss.
Look, I think it’s pretty clear this incident was the result of simple miscommunication. The man in the suit wasn’t trying to deny a kid a souvenir, and he appeared to apologize to the boy behind him when he realized his mistake. It’s a natural reaction to catch a moving object coming toward you, unless you’re former Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers.
Wednesday’s incident was reminiscent of Connolly’s multiple attempts to get a puck in the hands of 6-year-old Keelan Moxley before Game 2 of the Capitals’ first-round playoff series against Columbus in April. Connolly’s first two attempts were thwarted when a man in the crowd caught the pucks and gave them to two boys on opposite sides of Moxley. Connolly wasn’t pleased, and repeatedly banged on the glass in front of Moxley to let everyone know the souvenir was intended for her.
That story had a happy ending, of course. Moxley eventually got her puck. The Capitals also offered Moxley and her family tickets to Washington’s home games throughout the remainder of the playoffs. She was in the crowd at Capital One Arena — and got some serious camera time — after Connolly scored in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Holtby and Connolly should be featured in a PSA that airs before every home game and advises adult fans to make the first two rows behind the glass a kids-only zone during warm-ups.
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