The Washington Capitals are in a good place going into the playoffs. We have heard it said that a team can’t win the Stanley Cup unless they have a great goalie. The Caps have two, as we have seen in the past few weeks. Watching them at practice today it seems as if they are both happily awaiting a decision and we do mean happily!!
We know that there are plenty of pundits and bloggers who want to make a big deal about a supposed “goalie controversy.” We are not among them. We think the Caps are blessed to have the likes of Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer between the pipes and don’t much care who starts because we have faith in the two.
Sure Holtby hasn’t been in beast mode of late. Sure he isn’t up for the Vezina Trophy as top goalie in the league. Some think he is shaky. Some think his confidence in his abilities is gone. Worse than that, some think the team has lost confidence in him. We think not. Earlier in the season he was pulled several times and Grubauer stepped in to finish the game and he had a run of losses before this recent streak of wins. He was less consistent then and now we have to hope he is fully back in his zone. Holtby has won four of his last five games.
The boys crashed the net hard against Holtby at practice today. He took it in stride and seemed to enjoy the challenge.
Grubi has been stunning. He was beyond amazing in the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Some think he “cemented” the number one spot as a result. It was his first start against the team that has knocked the Caps out of the playoffs twice and he had some pretty incredible saves. He has guarded the net to give the team a win 15 times out of the 37 games he played. He has won the last four out of five games in which he was the goaltender and he has three shutouts this season (same as last season).
Grubauer looked strong in the net at practice today. He was tested with a good workout and seemed to come through just fine.
There is a lot of talk of playoff experience for a team’s starting goalie and that the lack of such experience for Grubauer could be detrimental to the Caps. Same could have been said when Holtby started so we think this is a non-issue. Others believe Grubi has proven he is the more solid goalie and should get the nod for the start. With the coach announcing that he will let each goalie play in the final two games, it would appear that Trotz has yet to make a definitive decision regarding who starts in the first round of the playoffs.
For us: In Holtbeast AND Grubi We Trust!
And lets not forget, should anything really go really wrong, there is always Pheonix Copley…