It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.
That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.
“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”
Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.
Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.
Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.
“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.
So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?
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When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”
Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.
While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.
Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”