During parts of six seasons in Washington, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer became a beloved member of the Capitals as a result of many things: his hard work ethic on the ice, his reciprocation of love for the city and the fans, and the way he carried himself as a teammate among others.
Drafted by the Capitals with the 112th overall pick (fourth-round) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Grubauer worked his way through the Capitals’ organization to become an established NHL netminder, and while he was never a starter in the District, he became one of the team’s best backups of recent memory. In 101 games played (79 starts) in a Capitals sweater, Grubauer compiled a record of 43-31-11, with a a franchise-best .923 save percentage and 2.29 Goals-Against Average, to go along with six shutouts and a .620 quality start percentage.
But what stands out the most about Grubauer during his time with the Caps, most notably the previous three seasons as the backup to Braden Holtby, is how supportive he was of the team and Holtby, never complaining about how much playing time he received, nor questioning the coaching staff’s decisions regarding who started on certain days (there were times when Holtby would play game-after-game and Grubauer would have to remain as backup), always coming to the rink with the same supportive attitude that earned him the respect of fans and the team alike. So it was not surprising, after three seasons in which the German netminder proved himself a capable NHL ‘tender, when the Caps traded him to the Avalanche prior to the 2018 NHL Entry Draft so that he could have a chance to establish himself as a starter in the league.
So as the Capitals prepare to face Grubauer and Colorado tonight, fans will no doubt remember the phenomenal player, teammate, and person that Grubauer (who stated earlier today that Washington will “always be home”) was and continues to be. Thank You Grubi!
#ALLCAPS alum Philipp Grubauer back @CapitalOneArena with #GoAvsGo this morning: “It’s special coming back. I’ve had this date circled. Washington is always going to be home.”
Grubauer says he and his (DC native) girlfriend will be spending the offseason in Washington
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) February 7, 2019
By Michael Fleetwood