Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol answered a few questions Thursday morning regarding the recent explosions of offense, that of his team and that of his opponents. Despite winning six straight, the Kraken have given up 19 goals over their last four games. an average of just below five per. He was over talking about it.
“I knew the questions would be all about this and if we’re talking about this for the next couple of weeks we’re going to be in trouble,” Hakstol said.
He then spoke emphatically.
“We’ve gotta get back to it tonight,” he said. “What is it? It’s physicality at the puck, it’s being in your spots, it’s five guys doing the job. There’s nothing spectacular to it. It was a crazy game the other night, it’s in the past.
“Everyone is skipping the game that we played in Vegas where we were outstanding defensively,” he added. “Everybody is skipping the game in Anaheim where at 5-on-5 we were air tight and absolutely gave up nothing. The San Jose game was a game on the go, it was a different hockey game in that respect, and the other night (Los Angeles, 9-8), hey, it is what it is. So take it for what it is, we got the two points out of it, make sure we get back to who we are tonight, and that’s it, there’s nothing more to it.”
Philipp Grubauer gets the nod between the pipes for the Kraken against the Washington Capitals, his former team. He won a Stanley Cup with them in 2018. That’s not really the main impetus; it’s simply time to get him some work.
The Kraken presently have the luxury of two effective veteran netminders. Martin Jones has been the main man since Grubauer’s injury on October 21st, but Grooby has reemerged as a very viable option.
“It’s a good opportunity for Grooby to come in again tonight,” Hakstol said. “We want to make sure he has the ability to get into a rhythm, without too much distance between starts. I think it’s a great opportunity to come in tonight and continue what he did in Vegas, he played a real strong hockey game, was more and more comfortable as he went through that hockey game after a long lay-off. Tonight he’s going to have traffic, he’s going to be challenged. He’s going to be an important guy for us.”
Speaking of “Jonesy”, he donned a new paint job on his mask at morning skate Thursday, courtesy of our mutual pal Steve Nash at Eye Candy Air. The mask features multiple views of the Kraken sea monster, it’s tentacles, and the skyline of Seattle. The front features a large Seattle “S” emblem.
— 4th-line center Morgan Geekie remains out of the line-up with an upper body injury. This will be his second consecutive missed game.