Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer has settled into his role as part of the team’s impressive goal tending tandem.
I like to joke that Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer is calling his agent and asking about a shots faced bonus in his contract. Through three games so far, the net minder has faced 107 shots, which averages to 35.6 per game.
Grubauer may not have realized how much Avalanche goalies get shellacked. He’s probably thinking he should have insisted on a bonus of, say, $100 per shot when he signed his contract this summer.
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Joking aside, the German goalie is finding his footing with the Avs. We hope so anyway because he’s the heir-apparent to Semyon Varlamov. Of course the latter loves competition and is throwing a Vezina-worthy season so far (1.77 goals against, .948 save percentage.) He’s at 34.6 shots per game.
By the way, Grubauer’s 42 saves against the Carolina Hurricanes in the last game was a career-high for him. Seriously, I’m only half-joking when I say the 26-year-old goalie is calling his agent about a shots-faced bonus.
Grubauer was measured in how he talked about the Carolina game. He praised the group as a whole, calling it an “unbelievable job.” He did remark that the team need to make sure that they don’t let opponents just “hang around.” He added:
"“You got to make sure you make the right decisions–get the puck out 100 percent, get the puck in, don’t make any turnover on the blue lines.”"
Captain Gabriel Landeskog was less measured in how he spoke about Grubauer:
"“Without the way he played tonight, we wouldn’t have won this hockey game. We got two big points on the road, but we know that we need to play better defensively than what we did tonight. He was outstanding, and honestly it was one of the better goalie performances I have seen in a long time.”"
“One of the better goalie performances I have seen in a long time” — that’s high praise indeed for a Colorado Avalanche goalie.
Here’s an example of a ridiculous save Grubi made in the Hurricanes game:
Flashing the glove, Patrick Roy style.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie was also appreciative of what Philipp achieved in the Hurricanes game, He remarked on the goalie’s “unbelievable defensive stops” and called the goalie “outstanding.” Barrie continued:
"“… when we needed Grubi, he was more than there. He was awesome.”"
Philipp Grubauer has been in the NHL since the 2012-13 season. He was selected by the Washington Capitols in the fourth round ( 112th overall) in 2010. Pretty much his entire career before coming to Colorado he has played backup to Braden Holtby.
Now, as GM Joe Sakic declared in the offseason when the Avs traded for then subsequently signed Grubauer, he’s co-chair of the number-one position in goal tending.
Fellow newbie Ian Cole was similarly appreciative:
"“I think he was great all night. When you’re going down a man, you need to make saves when you’re playing against the other team’s five best players. He certainly did that. He did it all day. Five-on-five as well. It was a great job. He was very solid, very calm and made some unbelievable saves when he had to.”"
Calm is something everyone calls Grubauer. To be honest, it’s something said of Varlamov as well. I guess when you’re faced with the whirlwind that is Colorado Avalanche hockey, that’s a necessary quality in a goalie.