In a season that has been filled with tribute videos and meetings with former players and coaches, the Capitals continued the presentations in their Thursday night game against the Colorado Avalanche, as they honored former backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer with a tribute video during the first television break of the first period.
The team played the following video during the first television timeout during the first period of their game against the Avalanche. Drafted by the Capitals in the fourth-round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Grubauer played parts of six seasons with the Capitals, making his NHL debut during the 2012-13 season, and showed his potential as an NHL netminder the following year, during the disastrous 2013-14 season.
Grubauer became the Caps’ backup goalie starting the 2015-16 season, proving himself a reliable second option behind starter Braden Holtby. Grubauer was key in the Capitals’ run to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship, providing strong netminding during Holtby’s late season struggles, starting the team’s first two playoff games. Following the Capitals’ Stanley Cup parade, Grubauer, along with defenseman Brooks Orpik was traded to the Avalanche prior to the draft. The move was not only a move to free up cap space to re-sign defenseman John Carlson, but to give Grubauer a chance to establish himself as a starting netminder. Since joining the Avs, Grubauer has gone 9-7-3 this season, with an .890 save percentage and 3.47 Goals-Against Average. Grubauer finished his career with the Capitals ranked 10th all-time in wins, first in save percentage, first in Goals-Against Average, and tied for eighth in shutouts.
The video was played on the Capital One Arena Jumbotron, and Grubauer received thunderous applause and standing ovation from the crowd. Grubauer stood to acknowledge the fans after the conclusion of the video, which resulted in additional cheers.
By Michael Fleetwood
(Rinkside videos courtesy Harrison Brown)
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