CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Philipp Grubauer
Age: 22 [turns 23 Nov. 25]
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 184
Goals-against Average: 2.38
Save Percentage: .925
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 3-year, $1.945 million contract [$578,889 cap hit, $600,000 salary, in 2014-15]
Strengths: Taken with the 112th pick of the 2010 draft, Grubauer nudged his way into the Capitals’ goaltending conversation when he took advantage of Michal Neuvirth injuring his right leg by stepping on a puck in pre-game warmups on Nov. 29. Nine days later, Grubauer made 30 saves in a 4-1 win over the Rangers in Madison Square Garden and that, combined with the struggles of Braden Holtby, led coach Adam Oates to play Grubauer in 14 the next 19 games. During his six-week run with the Caps Grubauer displayed his athleticism between the pipes and a very calm and mature demeanor off the ice, an indication he is NHL ready.]
Weaknesses: Like the other Caps’ goalies, Grubauer said he struggled with Adam Oates’ decision to play deeper in his net, especially at the start of his season in Hershey, where he went 13-13-2 with a 2.60 GAA and .916 save percentage. Grubauer’s play dipped in his final two weeks with the Caps when he went 0-2-2 and allowed six goals on 22 shots in his final two starts. Grubauer also struggled in shootouts, going 2-4 while allowing 10 goals on 29 shots.
Memorable Moment: Grubauer’s most acrobatic save came when he did the splits to stop Florida’s Rob Campbell in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers on Dec. 13, but his most memorable game had to be his first start of the season in New York on Dec. 8, when he calmly steered aside 30 of 31 shots in one of the Capitals’ most well-played games of the season.
Quotable: “I would jump on the bed and try to copy the saves of Felix Potvin and Mike Richter. I’d say, ‘I want to play there, too.’” – Grubauer on watching VHS tapes sent from Canada to his hometown of Rosenheim, Germany
2014-15 Expectations: With Jaroslav Halak now a member of the New York Islanders and Michal Neuvirth working in Buffalo the door is wide open for Grubauer to begin next season as Braden Holtby’s backup. A new general manager may be hesitant to begin next season with a pair of young goalies, but Grubauer appears to be ready to take on the challenge of his first full NHL season.