Capitals Goalie Philipp Grubauer Makes History


Phillip Grubauer isn’t a known name in most hockey circles. However, he might get some attention now that he has made history in two pro hockey leagues.

The goalie has won an NHL playoff game with the Washington Capitals along with winning a game for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. He is the fifth goalie to do this in the past 78 years and in the second in as many years; the other is Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson.

Before Gibson, the last time a goalie had won games in the NHL and AHL post season in the same year was Robbie Moore in 1979 with the Philadelphia Flyers and Maine Mariners.

When Braden Holtby wasn’t able to play in game two of the Capitals first round series against the New York Islanders, the team was in a state of emergency between the pipes. They called up the German goalie just in time for him to get the start.

“Amazing,” Grubauer said to the Washington Post after his NHL playoff victory over the Islanders. “Amazing. All I can say is hell of a game.”

“I can’t put myself in those shoes,”  Capitals head coach Trotz said to the Washington Post. “That’s the great trait of a goalie is that you’re not overwhelmed by the moment or the situation. That’s what I liked about Philipp is he came in and played and did a good job.”

It has been a year of unexpected emerging goalies. The best example of this was Ottawa Senators journeyman ‘tender Andrew Hammond who led the team on an improbable playoff run. Scott Darling took the reigns of the Chicago Blackhawks for a time and started most games in their series against the Nashville Predators, as well.

Since Holtby is able to play now, Grubauer will be spending the rest of the playoffs with Hershey, where he has led them. He suffered an upper body injury the other night in their win and it’s unclear of when he can play again.

On Friday night Grubauer led his Bears to a 10-4 victory over the Worcester Sharks as they swept them out of the playoffs.

Grubauer entered the practice facility on the morning of his NHL victory thinking he wouldn’t take the ice. He was told that if Holtby was out, he would be the choice instead of Justin Peters to start.

Now a winner in two playoff series, Grubauer has been another bright spot in the terrific hockey post seasons we have come to love.