In this edition of Seattle Kraken News & Rumors, Jared McCann records his sixth multi-point game of the season against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, Jan. 12, Morgan Geekie is sidelined day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and Philipp Grubauer‘s struggles in net continue.
McCann Tallies Goal and Assist in Wednesday’s Loss to the Stars
The Kraken had a rough outing on Wednesday, losing 5-2 to the Stars, but McCann was a bright spot for Seattle. Tallying an assist on Calle Jarnkrok’s opening Kraken goal in the first period, McCann later added a goal for himself in the second period to mark his 15th goal of the season. He now has a team-leading six multi-point games this season and is one point back of Jordan Eberle for most points on the Kraken, with 23 points (15 goals, eight assists) in 30 games.
McCann is on fire as of late, scoring six points (three goals, three assists) in his last four games. His wicked shot often catches goaltenders off-guard and his incredible accuracy helps him find the back of the net. He carries an impressive shooting percentage of 81.1 percent on 83 shots. It’s been mentioned time and again now, but McCann is truly emerging as the Kraken’s go-to sniper and is one of the players giving his team a chance in every game.
Geekie Sidelined Day-to-Day With an Upper-Body Injury
Geekie missed Wednesday’s game against the Stars due to an upper-body injury that will keep him out of the lineup day-to-day. In the meantime, Max McCormick has been recalled from the taxi squad to fill his place. The 23-year-old center has the best faceoff percentage among all Kraken skaters, winning 53.62 percent of the draws he’s taken this season.
In 34 games, Geekie has 10 points (three goals, seven assists), surpassing his points total of nine points (three goals, six assists) in 36 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. He has been a steady contributor for Seattle and is building his confidence in the NHL. He will look to continue dominating the faceoff circle and increasing his career high in points when he returns to the lineup in the coming days.
Grubauer Continues to Struggle in Net With Latest Loss to Dallas
Grubauer posted his sixth consecutive sub-.900 save percentage (SV%) performance in a 5-2 loss to the Stars on Wednesday. Allowing four goals on 24 shots, he finished the night with a measly .833 SV%. As a finalist for last year’s Vezina Trophy, he is looking to fix his mistakes and find confidence again to become the elite goaltender he’s been in past seasons.
The 30-year-old goaltender is making an unprecedented number of starts for his career this season, which could be part of the reason behind his struggles. Last season, he posted a .922 SV% in 39 starts and 40 games with the Colorado Avalanche. He also held an incredible 30-9-1 record and 1.95 goals-against average (GAA). Now with the Kraken, he’s played in 27 of the team’s 35 games this season, with a disappointing .880 SV%.
While Grubauer has started 26 games, his goaltending partner Chris Driedger has started just seven games. With 47 games remaining in the season, it will be interesting to see how head coach Dave Hakstol manages his goaltenders to get the best performances out of them.
The Kraken play on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday at 5 p.m. PT. Winless in its last seven games, Seattle is looking to win its first game of 2022. The Blues, tied for second in the Central Division with the Avalanche, are an eager-to-win team and will likely be a tough test for the Kraken.
Tom Pepper hosts The Hockey Writers Podcast on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts, every weekday (Monday to Friday). He also writes the “NHL Talk” and “NHL Sound Bites” columns. He is a diehard Buffalo Sabres fan in Toronto, frequently driving the Queen Elizabeth Way to cheer on his team at KeyBank Center.