Though the Washington Capitals and Philipp Grubauer have already had a reunion during the 2018-19 season, Thursday night’s tilt against the Colorado Avalanche marks the first time that the former Capitals backup goaltender will return to the District.
Speaking with the media following the Colorado Avalanche’s morning skate at Capital One Arena, Grubauer said to Capitals Radio’s Ben Raby, “It’s special coming back. I’ve had this date circled. Washington is always going to be home.”
Grubauer won’t get the nod in net, with another former Capital, Semyon Varlamov, starting instead, but the homecoming will still be an emotional one.
Colorado is on the ice for their morning skate at Capital One Arena. In a week of returns, Philipp Grubauer will be the backup tonight as Semyon Varlamov gets the start #ALLCAPS #GoAvsGo #CapsAvs pic.twitter.com/RiNLRqPkYH
— Sterling Blount (@sterling19_) February 7, 2019
NHL.com’s Tom Guilitti reported that Grubauer spent some his time at Capital One admiring the Stanley Cup banner in the rafters, while he was on the ice.
“It’s nice to be home and nice to see some familiar faces and talk to a couple guys over on the other side,” Grubauer said. “It’s nice to see the banner. I looked at it a couple times. It’s incredible.”
Following the Capitals’ Stanley Cup win, Grubauer was dealt with Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a second round pick in the 2018 draft. The Capitals used that pick to draft Kody Clark, Wendel Clark’s son.
As was the case with Jay Beagle’s emotional return on Tuesday, it is likely that Grubauer, the team, and Capitals fans will run the gamut of feelings once more, complete with tribute video.
Brace yourselves. More tears are coming.
Headline photo: @TomGulittiNHL
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