Tuesday’s game in Buffalo was a frustrating loss for the Capitals and no one took it hard as goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Grubauer was once again put in a difficult situation by starting the second end of a back-to-back and once again, he took the loss. In five starts this season, his record is now 0-4-1 and he took it pretty hard.
Grubauer: "I'm sick of f---ing losing."— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 8, 2017
Grubauer is typically very even-keeled and calm after games. It doesn’t matter if he was in a blowout, a shutout, the preseason or the postseason, he always tends to be calm after games. To hear him vent his frustration was striking, but also understandable.
The Caps have not been losing because of Grubauer, they’ve been losing despite him. The German netminder turned aside 29 of the 31 shots he faced on Tuesday in what was another strong performance by him. Grubauer has been good in every appearance except for the Philadelphia Flyers game in which no one played well. If you exclude that game, he has registered a .914 save percentage.
Another reason for the frustration is the fact that he has not been getting much help from the offense.
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A Capitals team that is averaging 3.00 goals per game scored only once in Buffalo. In his five starts this season, the Caps have scored only eight goals. Total. That’s an average of 1.6 goals per game. Any goalie in the NHL would struggle to win with that little support.
Grubauer’s frustration did not seem to be directed at his teammates, however, but just at the situation. Four of his five starts have been the second leg of back to back games. He is the backup goalie so of course he is going to be tasked with those difficult assignments, but that can still wear on a player. This is a team used to winning and a goalie who has his sights set on being a starter eventually becoming a No. 1 goalie.
Starting five games without a single win to show for it would frustrate anyone. And with one word on Tuesday night, Grubauer pointedly expressed his feelings.