In this edition of Seattle Kraken News & Rumors, head coach Dave Hakstol comments on the Kraken’s 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, Philipp Grubauer‘s night ends just over five minutes into the game, and Joey Daccord gets his third opportunity in Seattle’s net.
Hakstol Disappointed With Kraken Blowout Loss to Penguins
The Kraken had a rough night on Monday, defeated at home by the Penguins, 6-1. Just 5:06 into the first period, Seattle already found itself down 3-0. It was an extremely disappointing loss for the Kraken, who were looking to extend their winning streak at home to four games after a strong 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Following the game, head coach Hakstol expressed his disappointment.
“I won’t even speak to one individual performance,” Hakstol said in his post-game interview. “We weren’t sharp to start the hockey game. It’s disappointing to come off arguably our most complete performance a couple nights ago. It’s disappointing to come out with that type of start tonight.”
The Kraken were chasing the Penguins all night, allowing the first goal against just 1:47 into the game. Within the following three minutes and thirty seconds, Seattle allowed another pair of goals, putting it at a three-goal deficit in the very early stages of the game. It’s hard enough to come back after allowing the first goal of the game, but to allow three at the start is nearly impossible to recover from.
“It’s not an acceptable way to start the hockey game,” Hakstol said. “We all know that. We all own that. I’m not gonna explain more of it.”
Grubauer’s Night Ends Early vs. Penguins, Pulled for Second Time This Season
Grubauer was pulled just 5:07 into Monday’s game against the Penguins after allowing three goals on four shots. Although he may not deserve blame for all of the goals, Hakstol felt it necessary to pull the Kraken’s starter early in hopes of reigniting the team. It is the second time Grubauer has been pulled from a game this season, with the only other time being against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 18.
Grubauer has been given a heavy workload this season with his goaltending partner Chris Driedger back on injured reserve for a second time. In 20 games (19 starts), Grubauer has a .886 save percentage (SV%) and 3.17 goals-against average (GAA). In comparison, Driedger has only played in five games (four starts) and Daccord in three games (two starts). Despite the major difference in the number of games played between Seattle’s goaltenders, Grubauer holds the best SV% and GAA among them. If Driedger gets healthy soon, it will allow Grubauer to get some much-needed rest and take some of the pressure off him.
Daccord Saves 24 of 27 Shots in Third Game With Kraken
With Grubauer being pulled early in Monday’s game against the Penguins, Daccord saw action for a third time with the Kraken this season. The 25-year-old is serving as Seattle’s backup goaltender for a second time this season after Driedger was placed back on the injured reserve on Dec. 1.
Although Daccord’s night was not stellar, he gained some invaluable experience playing against a highly-skilled Penguins side that included the likes of Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Earlier this season, he also had an opportunity to face-off against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers. When Driedger is healthy again, Daccord will be able to take even more confidence back with him to the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL, where he has a .915 SV% and 2.35 GAA in eight games this season.
The Kraken look to get back on track when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PT after having had two days to shake off their loss to the Penguins and prepare for their first-ever matchup with the Jets.
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Tom Pepper is an NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers.