The Colorado Avalanche have lost goaltender Philipp Grubauer for at least one game. He was injured in an awkward moment early in the second period in the team’s first playoff game against the Dallas Stars. Mike Chambers of the Denver Post made the injury announcement on Sunday
— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) August 23, 2020
Avalanche Philipp Grubauer Hurt
Grubauer was very fine for the Avs in 2019-20. He basically repeated 2018-19 with 18 wins in 33 starts with a save percentage of .916 and 2.63 goals-against-average. Some of his advanced stats such as goals-saved-above-average weren’t as good but he was still an above-average goaltender. Some of his struggles are certainly the result of defensive lapses on the blueline.
The Washington Capitals originally drafted Grubauer in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft. he debuted in 2012-13 but didn’t get major playing time until 2015-16. That was the year where Grubauer started in 16 games with a .918 save percentage and 2.32 goals-against. His career numbers feature 79 wins with a .920 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against. Grubauer is part of a recent wave of players from Germany making their mark in the league. Thomas Greiss is the only German-born goaltender with more games to his name at this time.
What This Means for the Future
The team only brought three goaltenders to its bubble. Pavel Francouz will handle the primary duties while Grubauer tries to return. Francouz was also very good this season. He had a .923 save percentage and 2.41 goals-against in 34 games. His backup will be Michael Hutchinson, who started the year for the Toronto Maple Leafs but joined the team at the trade deadline. Hutchinson was terrible for the Leafs but had one strong start in Colorado where he stopped 17 of 18 shots in a victory. His 2019-20 stats are five wins in 12 starts with a .888 save percentage and 3.47 goals-against. He is an experienced backup but the Avs would be in a dangerous position if Francouz is also hurt while Grubauer is healing.