There’s no goaltending controversy in Washington, but Tuesday night in Columbus, backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer will receive a second-straight start. Reigning Vezina trophy-winner Braden Holtby will sit again.
Barry Trotz explained why while speaking to the press after the team’s morning skate Tuesday. Trotz came to the decision, in part, out of genuine concern for his young goaltender, whom he felt was hung out to dry by his Capitals teammates against the Carolina Hurricanes.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 15, 2016
“I just thought the number one thing was for me was that we left him on an island in Carolina and no teammate deserves that,” an impassioned Trotz said. “He’s going back in and hopefully they will surround him and make sure to surround the island.”
Grubauer surrendered four goals on 37 shots to Carolina, but after the game, Trotz said that the Hurricanes could have easily been up 5-1 in the first period if not for Grubauer’s heroics in net. Trotz hoped the players felt bad about their performance Saturday night, especially for how they let one of their most selfless teammates down.
“One of the things that you’ll find is that your backup goaltender for the most part is one of the best guys on the team,” Trotz said. “He’s the guy that gets all the tough starts a lot of times. He’s the guy that gets the extra work with the guys. He’s the guy that ends up taking a lot of those high shots and never says a word. He’s a guy that’s always out there doing the extra work.”
“When [the backup] gets an opportunity to play, you don’t want to leave a teammate stranded and I felt in Carolina we left him stranded,” continued Trotz. “He deserves an opportunity to get a reset and the team deserves to get a reset for him. That’s why he’s in tonight.”
Tonight’s game was also a great opportunity for Grubauer to play as the Capitals are playing in another set of back-to-back games. The Caps will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, the third best team in the Eastern Conference, Wednesday night in Washington DC.
Headline photo: Rob Carr
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