Philipp Grubauer’s second appearance of the 2014-15 season will come in the playoffs, as the Washington Capitals announced that he will play in place of a sick Braden Holtby in Game 2.
Holtby had a rough Game 1 against the New York Islanders at times, yet he’s had a borderline Vezina-caliber breakthrough overall this season. Grubauer, meanwhile, won his lone NHL start during the season while putting up respectable numbers in the AHL (27-17-5 with a .921 save percentage for the Hershey Bears).
The Islanders boast a talented offense that made Washington look slow on Wednesday, so Grubauer’s really getting thrown right into the playoff fire tonight.
On the bright side, Holtby was largely unknown when he managed to play some great postseason hockey for the Dale Hunter-coached Capitals, so Washington isn’t totally unfamiliar with new faces leading them to nice places (Semyon Varlamov had a nice newbie run, too).
As far as beyond Game 2, the early word seems positive for Holtby, at least vaguely speaking.