The Colorado Avalanche goalie is finally getting the recognition he deserves. For most, if not all of, the regular season fans and analysts said the Avalanche's success came from their forward core. That and their blue liners. But almost no one was giving the goaltender the props he deserved.
Not anymore. The NHL has named Phillip Grubauer a Veniza Trophy finalist. An award given to the best goaltender in the league. The other two finalists are perennial nominee Marc-Andre Fluery, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Considering all three of these guys played outstanding this year there's no doubt that the voting is going to be extremely close.
If I'm being honest Grubauer is at a disadvantage in the voting. Sure he's second in the NHL in wins (30), tied for first in shutouts (7), second in Goals Allowed Average (1.95), and eighth in Save Percentage (.923), but he was still discredited all year because of the team he played on. So many people said crap like "well of course Grubauer is good this year, look at how good the defense is in front of him," or they'd say "it's really easy to be an Avalanche goaltender because the opposing team is always trying to play catchup." The excuses were everywhere. But numbers don't lie. Grubauer is top ten in every single statistic. And he's top 2 in the two most important categories. Wins and Goals Allowed Average. Grubauer made it easy for the Avalanche to win games all year averaging less than 2 goals allowed a game.
Even when the offense faltered for the Avalanche, which was rare, Grubauer didn't. He was the MVP of the Avalanche regular season, and he's more than deserving of the Veniza Trophy. The GRUUU chants from the Avalanche faithful were loud and proud once they got back in the stands. And Grubauer deserved every bit of it.