Colorado Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer has been adequate for the team, but not the game-stealer we sometimes need.
The Colorado Avalanche are about 58 days into their hockey hiatus because of the NHL’s COVID-19 pause. There is talk of players returning to their team cities to start unofficial practices in small groups. In Colorado, groups over 10 aren’t allowed.
That said, Colorado has started the safer at home phase of quarantine. It starts today in Denver, though some towns in the state were able to start May 1.
During the hiatus, we’ve been looking at how some players were doing before the season got put on pause. I’m hoping there’s some expediency to getting these posts done because actual hockey is imminent.
Anyway, here’s some of the players we’ve considered so far:
Today, we’re going to consider our other goalie, Philipp Grubauer.
Brief History of Philipp Grubauer
Philipp Grubauer is the second goalie the Avalanche have acquired from the Washington Capitals. The Caps drafted him 112th overall in 2010. He had already made the transition from European hockey to the OHL. He signed his entry-level contract in October of his draft year but didn’t join the organization until 2012-13. He divided his time that year between the AHL and ECHL, though he did play two NHL games for Washington.
For the next two seasons, Grubauer continued to bounce between the AHL and NHL, though he was slowly acquiring more experience in the latter. The 2015-16 season saw him make the NHL permanently as Braden Holtby’s backup. He won the Stanley Cup with the Caps in 2018.
That summer, the Colorado Avalanche traded for Grubauer ostensibly to become the heir apparent to then-current starter Semyon Varlamov.
Philipp Grubauer Stats with the Colorado Avalanche
Grubauer played a total of 101 games for the Capitals. His goals against average was in the neighborhood of 2.25. His save percentage was around .92.
With Colorado, his statistics haven’t been quite that good. His goals against average is 2.635 while his save percentage is .914.
He’s played 69 games for the Avalanche. His record has been 36-21-9.
Evaluation of Philipp Grubauer with the Colorado Avalanche
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When Grubauer came to Colorado, it was understood that he and Varlamov were fighting for the starting goalie job. Grubauer’s start with the team was brutal, and for at least the first half of the season, Varlamov stayed as the obvious starter. That shifted around January, and Grubauer went on to win the starting job and be the only goalie who played in the playoffs.
Colorado let Varlamov walk in free agency last summer. So, Grubauer is the ostensible starter. However, he’s been injured twice this season, and his play has been inconsistent. He doesn’t brilliantly steal or cost games like Varlamov did — he’s really more middle of the road.
I don’t think he really has anything to worry about concerning his current backup, Pavel Francouz. But I’m not convinced he’s going to be the goalie the Avs rely on as a starter for any length of time.
Nonetheless, Philipp Grubauer has gotten the job done more times than not. He’s a serviceable goalie the Colorado Avalanche can count on.