Sure, Nicklas Backstrom wants everyone to cheer for Team Sweden tomorrow night, but we can’t let our goaltender Philipp Grubauer go completely unheard. Team Europe got some practice time in at Kettler this morning and the radio voice of the Capitals, John Walton, got to talk with him about the team and how weird it is to be in the guest locker room.
I’m extremely excited to hear what the anthem for Team Europe could be, but in the meantime, mark your calendar to watch Grubi and Team Europe take on Team Sweden tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m.
Here’s the full transcript of Grubauer and Walton’s brief chat.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 13, 2016
Grubi it has to be a little bit surreal you being in Kettler but not being in the Caps room and being here with an entirely different set of teammates how has this gone for you since finding out you were playing with Team Europe?
Philipp Grubauer: It was quite a journey to come here but awesome, awesome to be here and catch up with some guys over in the other locker room. It’s been a little bit different coming here to Kettler and sitting in this locker room and going to the guest room tomorrow but also I’m excited for the game and for the season to start soon.
There’s a lot of national pride with Team USA and Canada, this is a bit of a different group and even trying to figure out a national anthem is tough for this group.
Philipp Grubauer: Yeah, I don’t think we have one yet. It’s been different guys from different countries, it’s been awesome. It’s tough for those teams to come together and I think guys on the coaching staff have done an amazing job so far with the short amount of time to get together as a team.
[Ed note: I’m just going to drop this suggestion right here.]
A lot of people have seen some of these preliminary games over the last not even a week or so and they see a lot of intensity. Are you surprised at all with how intense it’s been in some of these other games and some that you’ve been involved with as well?
Philipp Grubauer: I haven’t played yet so far, but just by watching in Canada yes, that’s probably the fastest game I’ve ever seen so far. Teams came out flying and intensity was up. You only have three exhibition games and you have to make sure you’re ready to go once the tournament starts.
How difficult is it to ramp up when it’s still just September and this is usually the time you’re starting to get back into it. Obviously conditioning is something year round. It’s got to feel a little weird to be this ramped up this early I would think
Philipp Grubauer: Yeah, you have to be almost mid-season form and all the German guys who played in Olympic qualifications have been going since August 20th so we’ve been on the road for basically a month and playing six games. It’s a different schedule and different to come in that early in the season but it’s been fun so far to get started.
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