Philipp Grubauer: 2013-14 Season Review

Photo credit: Kim Klement

At the beginning of December, Bears goalie Philipp Grubauer sunk his German claws into the Caps’ number-one spot and didn’t let go until the new year.

By the Numbers

12 Games played
92.6% 5v5 save percentage
352 5v5 shots faced
2.5 Goal support per sixty minutes
95.7% Shorthanded save percentage
70 Shots faced while shorthanded

Peter’s Take

By early December, Michal Neuvirth was hurt and Braden Holtby was faltering, so Adam Oates– the goalie whisperer– tapped Philipp Grubauer to take some starts. Grubi earned his first NHL win by saving 30 of 31 against the Rangers on December 8th, and he kinda instantly shook up Washington’s goalie depth charts.

It was no fault of his own, but the presence of Grubi created a three-headed monster in front of the Washington net, which sucked ferociously for everyone (else) involved.

Grubauer put up astonishing numbers through the new year before– well, I don’t wanna use the word faltering, because all he did was play like a mortal for the first time.

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Grubi’s numbers took a “tumble” in mid January, and then Jaroslav Halak came to town.

With Halak not long for Washington, Philipp Grubauer looks poised to challenge Holtby for first dibs on the net again.

Grubi on RMNB

In Pictures

Ludicrous split save. Palat should’ve been moar jokes.

His mask is awesome. Just the name alone… tops.

Your Turn

Isn’t analyzing goalies hard? They just feel like random number generators to me. I’m not into saying stuff like, “he made the big saves,” or “look at the confidence on him,” or “the team just plays better with him back there.” So, uhhh… you guys can do that.

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  • Lawrence

    Really liked Grubauer’s determination, character, and play style. He gave our team confidence when Holtby was crapping the bed (thanks to you Oatsie). Would like him a lot more if we had a veteran goalie that has been our #1. But at the moment, Grub just seems like the same story all over again: a great unproven goalie with tons of potential. That said, I unfairly judged him at times and even found myself somewhat happy after he let in a crappy goal, hoping that would get Holtby back in net (the real Holtby, not the Oates-tby).
    9/10 on expectations.
    8/10 on character and personality.
    2/10 on taking holtby out of the net.
    10/10 on proving Oates is an idiot.

  • DashingDave314

    He assisted in ruining the Holtbeast, but he knew not what he did, so he is forgiven. I think he’s ready to backup Holtby, assuming the pre-Adam Oates Holtbeast returns.

  • VeggieTart

    The only person I’m blaming for the ruination of Holtbeast is Adam Oates. Oates is responsible for the three-headed goalie monster for so long and in ruining Holtby’s confidence with his stupid idea that he knows the position better than Dave Prior, Olie Kolzig, and Braden Holtby himself.

    Grubi just came up when Neuvy was injured–something that just about every team does when a goalie is injured. He’s not dynamic, but he’s a solid guy, and maybe in another year or so would be a great backup for Holtby.

  • Owen Johnson

    The pre-Oates HoltBeast was there at the end of the season. I’m not worried. Also I did like what I saw from Grubi.

  • DashingDave314

    Grubi’s good. But he doesn’t match up to the flow and sassiness of Holtby.

  • CM

    I can say with 100% confidence that it’s almost a sure bet that this kid might have a pretty solid chance of being a really good goalie in the NHL.

  • Barrett

    No Grubauer yet. Let him stay in the AHL for now. Holtby needs to be the starter getting 50-60 starts. Sign a veteran goalie to back up Holtby on a 1 or 2 year contract.

  • tpr04

    Just like the forwards, you have to give the goalies a handicap for playing behind, for long stretches, an AHL level defense. Holtby gets a double handicap because Oates messed him up.

    As for Grubs, he shows a lot of promise. Any way I look at it though, he should be in Hershey next year getting more experience. I see no reason to rush him – he’s only 22. If they really needed the cap space to make a run, then you could have Grubs as your backup opening up a few million in cap space to spend elsewhere instead of on a veteran backup. But they are nowhere near making a run as a legit cup contender. And even if they were, might want a backup with some playoff experience. Either way, it’s at least a year too early for Grubs.

  • Pat Magee

    From seeing the 3 of them in Hershey (Neuvy, Holtby, Grubi) the past 5 years, Grubauer is probably the best. He has the calmness of Neuvy and the raw talent of Holtby, plus his own Prussian style.


  • Rhino40

    In the event Grubi does come up again for a significant number of starts next season (and does well), I want to see a shirt with these guys geared up for hockey i red sweaters, and the caption “We Work For GRÜ!“:

  • Rhino40


  • Rhino40

    There we go…

  • Sarah

    That is brilliant. Anything combining hockey and Despicable Me gets an automatic upvote from me, plus I like Gru (with or without the umlaut).

  • Sarah

    Also, on the subject of T shirts, anybody here know a digital artist who could/would knock together a Stars-related design I was thinking of? Thanks for any suggestions…

  • David Murray

    “I want the Caps to hire him again just so they can fire him again.” HAHAHAHA! CLASSIC RMNB!

  • David Murray

    P.S. Grubi is great. So is Holtby. I want them both back. Finding goalies is the best thing GMGM ever did.

  • JenniferH

    I like Grubi, but he should NOT be fighting for the #1 spot in the net against Holtby. Braden Holtby should not have to be fighting for that starter position AGAIN. It should be his without question. And he certainly shouldn’t be fighting for it against someone who played a handful of games.

  • RESmith

    No doubt Grubauer has proven himself ready for the NHL. However, I echo what others have already said and would like for him to spend another year in Hershey (even though I am excited to have another Cap of German heritage to root for again.) He has starter potential but he is still young and the chance to get the majority of starts in Hershey would allow him to continue to improve his consistency.

    I would like the Caps to sign a veteran backup who would be OK in that role, kind of of what we had when Craig Billington was here. He be solid support for Holtby but if Holtby got hurt he wouldn’t have any issues with Grubauer getting the starts ahead of him and letting Grubs develop.