Photo: Jacquelyn Martin
With the Capitals down 3-0 midway through Friday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz made a goalie change. He pulled star netminder Braden Holtby, the league’s leader in wins and goals against average, replacing him with backup Philipp Grubauer. Holtby slammed his stick on the bench before ripping off his mask off and kicking it down the tunnel to the locker room. No longer in control, Holtby was too agitated to sit down, watching play unfold with his hands on his hips for several minutes. It was the first time Holtby has been pulled all year.
“We’ve got so used to Braden being so strong for us that we tend to be a little loose sometimes,” Trotz told me Saturday morning. “He’s been erasing our mistakes. I was making a statement: enough’s enough. He’s been our MVP from game one on. Why are we doing this to him?”
Swedish mask painter for the stars, Dave Gunnarsson, released what he called a “sneak peek” of Philipp Grubauer’s new mask for the 2015-16 season on Monday afternoon. The bucket’s design, which Gunnarsson specializes in, is stunning. The promotional video of said mask, which Gunnarsson does not specialize in, is bizarre.
Like can someone explain what is going on here?
It sure sounds like the Justin Peters era, at least in Washington, is over. The Capitals announced Monday afternoon that they re-signed talented goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer to a one-way, two-year deal. Per Mike Vogel, now that he is on his second NHL contract, Grubauer must pass through waivers to be reassigned to the AHL.
After the season ended, Caps’ general manager Brian MacLellan spoke to Mike Vogel and indicated Grubauer would finally be getting a full-time roster spot. “We’re going to give Galiev a shot,” MacLellan said. “Chris Brown is going to get a shot. [Goaltender Philipp] Grubauer is going to get a shot and Schmitty is going to get a shot. We’ve got some guys who have put in some time development-wise [at AHL Hershey], and it’s going to be up to them to perform. They’ll all have chances to make the roster.”
Grubauer played two games in Washington this season. He won both, including a wild 4-3 victory over the Islanders in game two of the first round. Congratulations on the promotion, Grubi.
Photo: Kyle Mace / Chocolate Hockey
The Hershey Bears had a big night on Friday. They won 10-4, completing the best-of-five series against the Worchester Sharks in round one in four games.
Casey Wellman led the way with three goals and an assist, Chris Brown scored twice, Nate Schmidt, Cameron Schilling, Tim Kennedy, and Jakub Vrana all had three points in the game. Vrana also scored his first AHL goal.
The other goal-scorers included Dustin Gazley and Liam O’Brien.
The Washington Capitals just announced that Philipp Grubauer will get the start tonight over Braden Holtby who is under the weather. Justin Peters will serve as the back-up. We knew something was up when the Holtbeast didn’t come out this evening for his pre-game visualization routine.
Around 6:45pm, Holtby arrived at Verizon Center according to CSN’s Jill Sorenson.
Was told Holtby just arrived, is assumed that he will travel w team to NYI. #CapitalsTalk
— Jill Sorenson (@JillCSN) April 17, 2015
Alex Prewitt reports that the Caps will leave for New York immediately after the game and practice there Saturday.
To follow @JillCSN, Capitals are flying to Long Island after the game tonight, practicing there tomorrow afternoon.
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) April 17, 2015
So tonight should definitely be interesting with Grubi in goal!
Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey
Good morning, Caps fans. Everything is fine on this lovely spring gameday morning except your franchise goalie is sick. Alex Prewitt reports that Braden Holtby isn’t feeling well today. We don’t know exactly what that means yet, but the Capitals have recalled Philipp Grubauer from the Hershey Bears.
At least Caps fans are having fun with it.
Much like Jay Beagle, I discarded my dearest flipper this season and traded it in for an iPhone 6. On Saturday, I went to the Hershey Bears game and went crazy with its video settings and some attachable camera lenses I bought. The results were incredible.
From my glass side seats I captured Mike Moore‘s overtime game-winning goal and the Bears subsequent celebration. Like they celebrated freaking inches from me. While I didn’t notice it live, former Caps enforcer Liam O’Brien kissed Moore on the noggin. Also, I’ve never seen Philipp Grubauer so excited in my life.
No matter if it was Steve Oleksy doing a double skate stop in front of the net or Connor Carrick flipping the puck to himself skating up the ice, there are so many amazing things we miss in hockey at full speed. So I slowed them down.
Here are the Hershey Bears in slow-motion.
After the NHL All-Star Game wrapped up, the AHL held their own all-star skills competition in Utica, New York. The Caps-affiliated Hershey Bears were well-represented at the event with Philipp Grubauer, Connor Carrick, and veteran Tim Kennedy competing for the Eastern Conference.
According to The Patriot-News’ Tim Leone, Grubauer won the AHL’s top goaltender award after stopping 16 of 19 shots. That’s cool. Then there’s Carrick.
The 20-year-old defenseman, who spent a large chunk of last year in Washington, unleashed a 98 MPH slapshot during the Hardest Shot competition, which is kind of surprising. His three scores, according to Chocolate Hockey, were 93 MPH, 98 MPH, and 93.2 MPH.
Photo: Amanda Bowen
In preseason action on Thursday, the Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the shootout. A who’s who of Capitals players took the ice. A separate who’s who of Capitals sat on the club level, watching the game in suits. Some even interacted with fans.
RMNB Photographer Extraordinaire, Amanda Bowen, captured all of this and more. The pics are stunning, so you pretty much need to see them.
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