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Caps send Grubauer back to AHL

Jan 20, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

Philipp Grubauer Getty Images

The struggling Washington Capitals are back down to two goalies after sending rookie Philipp Grubauer back to AHL Hershey.

Grubauer, 22, departs the NHL with an impressive .926 save percentage in 14 starts; however, his last couple of outings have been rough ones.

For head coach Adam Oates, Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth are his choices in goal now. Unfortunately for Oates, neither of those two has played particularly well lately.

Granted, considering the Caps are surrendering an average of 34.0 shots per game — the third most in the NHL — goaltending is far from the only problem for the players, coach and general manager George McPhee, the latter of whom may be feeling pressure to address his team’s issues with a move.

“We’re in a slump right now, that’s for sure,” forward Nicklas Backstrom said. “We have to start playing way better around here. It’s tough right now.”

Washington hosts Ottawa tomorrow.

Related: When will Holtby start again for Caps?

  1. govtminion - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I expect Grubauer will be right back with the big team by the deadline- because I’ll be surprised if they don’t at least make every effort to trade Neuvirth. He’s not wanting to be there, and after he’s failed so many times to take the starting job from Varlamov, Vokoun, Holtby, Grubauer… might be time to give everyone involved a fresh start.

  2. lowenni - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Makes sense. Now can we switch Beagle out for Latta, Erskine out for Schmidt and Brouwer out for Fehr? Something needs to change on this team, as they’re playing the worst defense they have in years and putting forward some of the worst efforts I’ve ever seen from them. It’s time for a change up–ship out Neuvirth already, bring in a reliable top-4 lefty D…and Oates needs to change his defensive system. I know a lot of it is on the players, but I don’t think his system works well with this team.

  3. bccaps - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    It’s about time. But not because Grubauer didn’t play well. AFAIK, he’s the only one of the three that doesn’t need to clear waivers so it’s the only option. Too be they missed the boat in the goalie trades with Edmonton, LA, and Nashville. Neuvirth’s trade value can’t be that high so they might as well stick with the two they have and hope having some stability in goal (roster-wise) will be the genesis of team stability.

  4. herogoesallin - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    dear steve yzerman,
    please get grubauer and give the caps lindback.

    kind regards,
    thunder

  5. cspsrbums - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Move Laich Brouwer Erskins and Green, one or all these guys don’t score, are to slow and can’t play D anymore.
    Why would you set their best Goal tender down? Holtby has let 5 goals in-each of his last 3 starts he gave of 3 goals in 4 periods coming into relief. He averages 3 + goals a game. Wavers really no one would pick him up.

  6. cliffatola - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    It is all about keeping him sharp for after the Olympics, he is the only goalie that is waiver exempt for demotions. Send him down, make your trade likely before the Olympics so that guy can get moved and acquainted with his new town. Grubauer will play games in Hershey, stay sharp and likely assume the number 1 job once the other stuff is cleared up.

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