The Seattle Kraken have come full circle in the goaltending department as Philipp Grubauer will start his second consecutive game and third overall since returning from the injury he suffered on October 21st against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.
Grubauer won at the Vegas Golden Knights on November 25th and was between the pipes Thursday night when the Kraken came from behind to beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 in overtime.
With his re-acclimation complete, the long-term $5.9-million per season Grubauer re-takes the number-one spot ahead of the one-year $2-million man Martin Jones. The pecking order is reestablished although Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol downplayed a question on that concept Saturday morning.
“Grooby’s starting tonight, we’ve got two really good goaltenders and both guys have been contributing,” Hakstol said. That’s that.
If Jones is comfortable, which he appears to be, there’s no reason to make more of it. As a combo, the two indeed make-up an effective and daunting two-headed goaltending (sea) monster.
What a Geekie
Oh, the puns, and what the young man must have gone through as a kid …
Morgan Geekie skated with the club Saturday morning but apparently will not be performing Saturday night against the Florida Panthers at Climate Pledge Arena. Hakstol said the player’s status had not changed and he was still day-to-day.
Geekie provided an offensive boost as the center of the Kraken’s 4th line, at one point reeling off a five-game point streak. In his absence, Karson Kuhlman has filled in, mostly playing with Daniel Sprong and Ryan Donato. He’s also seen some penalty killing responsibilities.
A seattlehockeyinsider.com shift diary had Kuhlman playing 8:22 of ice time on Thursday night.
Shane Wright Watch
Speaking of Kraken centers, Shane Wright played his next to last game at the American Hockey League level on Friday night and will finish up his five-game ‘conditioning stint’ with the Coachella Valley Firebirds this evening on the road against the Henderson (Nevada) Silver Knights.
Last night the Kraken’s AHL affiliate defeated Henderson 1-0. Wright did not factor in the scoring nor did he produce a shot on goal. He has four goals for the Firebirds thus far.
Kraken GM Ron Francis revealed as a guest on a podcast that he plans to get Wright into the NHL line-up when he returns from the AHL assignment and then will decide if he’ll loan Wright to Hockey Canada for the World Junior Championship that starts December 26th in Nova Scotia.
Interestingly, the Kraken host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night, the team projected to take Wright first overall in the 2022 NHL Draft. It was considered a ‘snub’ by many that the Habs didn’t select him. Wright slipped to 4th-overall to the appreciative Kraken. It’ll be fun to see if Wright gets the opportunity to make a statement in the line-up on Tuesday evening.