Philipp Grubauer making statement with new mask?

Philipp Grubauer making statement with new mask?
July 23, 2014, 4:30 pm
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Goaltender Philipp Grubauer may be starting the 2014-15 season with the AHL Hershey Bears, but that didn’t stop him from capitalizing on the mask he’ll wear when he gets the chance to play in Washington.

The NHL on NBC Twitter account provided our first look at Grubauer’s new mask and it’s as American as you can get for a young man born and raised in Rosenheim, Germany. 

Grubauer’s mask, designed by Dave Gunnarsson (DaveArt.com), features an array of white stars and red and white stripes, with a bald eagle on either temple and the word “Grubi” etched across the chin,

Gunnnarsson also designed a very cool Ghostbusters mask for Rangers goalie Cam Talbot.

So, is it a bit presumptuous for Grubauer,  who last season went 6-5-5 with a 2.38 GAA and .925 save percentage in 17 games with the Capitals and 13-13-2 with a 2.60 GAA and .916 save percentage in 28 games with the Bears, to have a Capitals-themed mask painted before a season he may start in the minors?

On July 1 the Caps signed free-agent goaltender Justin Peters to a two-year, $1.9 million contract, pretty much anointing the 27-year-old netminder as Braden Holtby’s backup.

But as we saw last season, strange things can happen between the pipes in Washington and Grubauer seems intent on making it a three-goalie competition.

“Obviously, there's some things that I've got to develop and I think the coaching staff and management think the same way,” Grubauer told NBC4’s Adam Vingan during rookie camp earlier this month.

“Maybe it's not bad that I go back to Hershey because I play more than I probably would play here. I'm looking forward to this year and maybe I'm up here next year."

Last season, Grubauer went with a politically correct mask that featured a raging bear on one side of his mask and a bald eagle on the other, symbolic of his split allegiance.

Capitals Blood Drive: The Capitals and Inova Blood Donor Services will host the Capitals annual summer blood drive, featuring an appearance by Caps forward Joel Ward, on Saturday, July 26 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Blood drive donors will receive a Ward bobblehead as well as a Capitals T-shirt.

More than 250 units of blood and blood products are needed every day, year-round, for patients in area hospitals. One blood donation can save up to three lives, and there is a continual need for all blood types since it is used to help trauma patients, surgery patients, newborn babies, cancer patients and transplant patients.

Appointments are required. Donors can make an appointment by calling 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372) or by signing up online on the Inova Blood Donor Services Website. All donors are asked to arrive at their scheduled appointment time.

[RELATED: Capitals’ Top 25 impact players: No. 23 Jay Beagle]