Watch some of Philipp Grubauer’s best plays in a Colorado Avalanche uniform.
Sure, the team had to immediately sign the then-27-year-old left-hander to a three-year, $10 million deal, but he almost immediately made good on that investment with a save percentage of 91.7 on an average of 29 shots on goal per game. He then followed it up with a near-identical second season with the burgundy and blue – recording 91.6 save percentage on 1067 shots on goal in 36 games of action.
Now granted, all of this is predicated on Grubauer staying healthy, which is a big if when you consider he missed serious time for the Avalanche in 2019-20, but when healthy, there are few goalies in the Western Conference who can reliably hang with peak PG.
Need proof? Well, fortunately, our friends at the NHL have you covered with a highlight reel of sorts of Grubauer’s top-10 saves of the 2019-20 season, and believe you me, some of these are box office worthy.
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My goodness, did you see number 10? I know some of the later saves are technically better, but few have that sort of on-the-fly creativity.
When actually on the ice, Grubauer is fantastic. During his abbreviated playoff tenure in 2020, the 112th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft had a save percentage of 95.3 before having his season prematurely ended by a lower-body injury in Game 2 of the team’s second-round series against the Dallas Stars. Had Grubauer remained healthy, there’s a very real possibility the Avalanche, not the Stars, would have represented the West in the 2020 NHL Finals, where they matched up pretty well versus the eventual champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But hey, it’s all good. With the additions of defensemen Devon Toews and forward Brandon Saad via a pair of trades from the New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks, respectively, the Avalanche may be an even better team in 2020-21 than 2019-20 and should be considered strong favorites to make a deep playoff run once more.
Who knows, if Nathan MacKinnon can take his game up one more notch, the Avalanche may even find themselves a one seed when the playoffs eventually roll around – whenever that may be – for the first time since 2014.
Either way, Grubauer’s healthy and well being could make or break the Avalanche’s season, for better or worse.
Which of Philipp Grubauer’s saves do you think is his best from 2019-20? Is he a good enough goalie to take the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup Finals, or should the team have invested more in finding a viable 1b for the 2020-21 season? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!