Seattle Kraken, Philipp Grubauer

Grubauer’s Kraken Return; Dual Goalies, or Goalie Duel?

Kraken Good Problem

On his 31st birthday, Seattle Kraken goaltender Phillip Grubauer successfully returned to action for the first time since October 21st, making 20 saves in a 4-2 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights.

“I was saying, probably, besides my dog, the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten, two points,” goalie Grubauer said postgame. “I’ll be happy to take this one. It’s been incredible, we’ve got to build on this game and take that momentum to Anaheim and LA and get points.”

Grubauer’s biggest moment came with his team leading 3-2 midway through the second period when he robbed Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore on the doorstep with a glove save.

“The save in the second period which is kind of a broken play, a bounce of the puck that gets to him right at the crease, that glove save was big,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol recalled. “I thought he looked comfortable and solid.”

“Obviously there’s timely saves in a game and that was maybe one of them,” Grubauer said, “but, it’s always the next stop after. You can’t get really caught up in moments like that. Obviously you can’t get too high or too low.”

It marked “Grooby’s” first win of the season in four starts. After two tough outings early in the season before suffering the lower body injury against the Colorado Avalanche, his statistics were inflated. In splitting time with Martin Jones moving forward, in a manner undisclosed at this point by Hakstol, Grooby will get the opportunity to chip away at his 3.75 goals against average and on improving his .870 save percentage.

Friday night was a great re-starting point.

“Guys have been playing unbelievable, they made it real easy for me tonight,” Grubauer said. “Once you make a couple of saves, everything is settling in a little bit. Just amazing to watch from back there, how everybody is contributing and doing the right thing, no selfish plays and just make the right plays for the team.”

Jones, earning NHL 3rd-star honors ending the week of November 20th, has been stalwart to say the least, posting a 10-4-and-2 record, a 2.49 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.

Jones will likely start for the Kraken in Anaheim against the Ducks. Start time is just after 5 pm pacific on Sunday.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.