On Sunday night, Philipp Grubauer made his second career start when the Capitals played the New York Rangers. Philipp was 2 minutes and one save away from his first career shutout as well. But who is Philipp Grubauer? On Friday November 29th, Michael Neuvirth was slated to start against the Montreal Canadiens. He sustained a lower body injury forcing Braden Holtby to start and video coach Brett Leonhardt was signed to an amateur tryout contract to serve as Holtby’s back-up. Neuvirth’s injury has caused him to miss 5 game so far with the 6th being tonight. With Neuvirth out, the Capitals have recalled goaltender Philipp Grubauer from the Hersey Bears.
The Capitals selected Grubauer 112th overall in the 2010 draft. The 22 year old goalie was born in Rosenheim, Germany. He started his career in 2006-2007 with the U18 Rosenheim Star Bulls. at the age of 15. The following season he even got a call up the senior Rosenheim Star Bull’s team for 5 games. The following season the goaltender was drafted 25th overall in the CHL 2008 Import Draft by the Belleville Bulls. The netminder did not shine too bright with the team, managing a 7-8 record in the 17 games he played. His second year on the team was a tough one. He had a 10-14-5 record in 31 games. That was until he was traded to the Windsor Spitfires in a 7 player deal.
After the trade Grubauer played outstanding. He went 13-1-2 with the Spitfires with 2 shutouts. Grubauer was spectacular in the 2010 OHL playoffs with a 16-1-1 record in 18 games. Grubauer shinned in the Memorial Cup playoffs as well helping the Spitfires win their second consecutive Memorial Cup. Grubauer led all goalies in the tournament with a .930 save % and 2.14 GAA. Grubauer played in the 2010 World Junior Championship division 1 with Germany. The goaltender was outstanding along with the rest of the German team. In 5 GP, Grubauer won all 5 and posted a .64 GAA and a .974 save %. This helped bring Germany back up to the top division in World Juniors.
The next season, with a entry level contract in hand, Grubauer started the season with the Kingston Frontenacs after being traded once again. He played 38 games with a record of 22-13-3. That season was cut short when Grubauer caught mononucleosis, and went home to Germany. The illness ended his OHL career as it was his last year of age eligibility. When Grubauer returned he was assigned to the South Carolina Stingrays, the Capitals ECHL affiliate. There Grubauer was named ECHL Goaltender of the week for the weed of Oct. 31st-Nov. 6th. He was 3-0 with 1 shutout, 1 GAA and a .960 save %. In November he was named the ECHL Goaltender of the month going 6-1-1 with one shutout, 1.73 GAA and .935 save %.
For the month of January he was named ECHL Rookie of the Month and he was named to the 2011-2012 All-Rookie Team. In the 2012-2013 season the Washington Capitals ECHL affiliate became the Reading Royals. Grubauer split time with Reading and Hersey. He stayed with Hersey after the NHL lockout ended and Braden Holtby joined the Capitals again. In Hersey he played 28 games going 15-9-2. Late in the season he played his first NHL game when he came in for Holtby in a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He got his first start later that year against the New York Islanders, a 5-2 loss.Grubauer did face a whopping 45 shots against, saving 40 of them.
This year Grubauer has played in three games. His first was again in relief of Holtby in a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Then he got his first start of the year against the New York Rangers, a game he won 4-1. His third game was a win in relief of Holtby in the 6-5 S/O win against the Tampa Bay Lightning where he let in 2 goals. Grubauer is slated to start in his second away game of the season. This time it is in Florida against the Florida Panthers. Puck drops at 7:30 pm.