Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer is in that special place: “The zone”

Avalanche Trainer Jared Bednar and standout defenseman Tyson Barrie used the same Term to describe goalie Philipp Grubauer after Wednesday morning’s skate at the Pepsi Center.

“He’s at a zone,” they said.

“It’s really helpful to get into a rhythm, for sure,” Grubauer said of his busiest stretch of the season.

Semyon Varlamov, who started five of the first six matches of this season for the Avs, will back up Grubauer for the sixth consecutive time Wednesday against Vegas. Grubauer has allowed just five goals in regulation in his past five starts, leading the Avs to a 4-0-1 record and resurrecting their playoff hopes.

“He’s at a zone,” Barrie said.  “He’s feeling it. He’s playing unbelievable, giving us a chance every night. ”

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Said Bednar: “He’s the hot goalie. We’ll ride him as long as we have to. ”

The Avs will return to a traditional lineup of 12 forwards and six defensemen Wednesday after going with an 11/seven appearance the previous five games. Forward Matt Nieto will return after missing the previous 15 games. “Certainly, including a guy like Matt Nieto who has been at a middle-six role for us all year (including) penalty kill, he assists,” Bednar said. By adding Nieto, the Avs will scratch rookie defenseman Ryan Graves.

Many NHL goalies decline pregame interviews but not Grubauer.

“I always talk. Not a huge issue for me,” Grubauer stated. “Maybe some goalies are distracted by it, but I will tell you I’m not one of those men. ”

#Avs trainer Jared Bednar this morning https://t.co/brruUkzZp1

— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) March 27, 2019


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