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Friday, May 31, 2013

Season in Review: Philipp Grubauer

Ok, this one is going to be short.  Grubauer appeared in only two games for the Caps this year, but the 21 year old will be a valuable piece in the future.  Whether that future includes goaltending for the Caps or being trade bait for the Caps is yet to be determined, but there is some value in Grubauer.

When Braden Holtby surrendered four goals against the Flyers, it was Grubauer who replaced him.  He looked stellar, stopping all 14 shots he faced in a little over one period of action.  His next appearance was a week later against the Islanders.  Grubauer got the start, and this was a not so stellar performance.  He let in five goals (one was an empty netter) and sported an 88 save percentage.  And he went back down to Hershey.

Whether Grubauer is playing for Hershey in the AHL or the Reading Royals in the ECHL, his save percentage has hovered around 91 percent, which is respectable.  As for his future with the Caps, that is a tough one to forecast.  With the contract extensions to both Holtby and Michal Neuvirth, he doesn’t appear to be in the Caps game plan for the near future.  Is he an NHL caliber goaltender?  I think he will be with time.

All three goaltenders are set to be free agents (Grubauer and Holtby will be restricted) in 2015.  It might make sense for George McPhee to shop one of his three young goaltenders around.  It obviously won’t be Holtby, but he may get a decent return for either Neuvirth or Grubauer.  Only time will tell.

Video Provided By:  ReadingRoyalsECHL

Grade:  n/a

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