After one day off from the rink, where many of the Seattle Kraken did their best to hide in places other than a rink for the sake of a mental recharge, they returned to practice on Halloween shortly before a near two-hour flight to Calgary where a three-game road trip awaits.
A handful of players attended the Seahawks win over the Giants at Lumen Field. Head coach Dave Hakstol jokingly referenced another shindig where any hints of a potential Halloween costume were obsolete.
“I didn’t get invited to the party,” he said.
The Kraken will depart for a three-game trip, launching the final leg of a demanding 15-game stretch to open the season against teams who made the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Kraken are 4-4-2 through those first ten games. Once they are finished with the Minnesota Wild in a home game coming a week from Friday, they will have finished a run of 15 games, involving ten who made the postseason.
Everyone this week, as a road opponent, made it last year: the 50-win Calgary Flames, the Minnesota Wild (despite a 1-3 record at home), and a rematch with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It helps the Kraken have banked three of four wins against those such teams, including Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Los Angeles.
And after a 3-1 win over the Penguins despite needing big saves by Martin Jones in the third period, mentally, they’re on a different track now.
“Turn the page,” said Hakstol. “There’s a lot of good coming out of the Pittsburgh game, and there’s a lot of things we can take out of that game, look at it, and say we can be better in different areas.”
“Now continuing to work to get better and concentrate on the next game tomorrow.”
PHILIPP GRUBAUER STATUS DOWNGRADED “WEEK TO WEEK”
To no surprise, there was no sign of goaltender Philipp Grubauer around Kraken Community Iceplex, as typical of the last several days since he was removed from an Oct. 21 win at Colorado and was placed on injured reserve shortly after, labeled with a “day-to-day” status.
He was eligible to return last weekend but didn’t play. He remains on injured reserve with a lower body ailment which was downgraded to “week to week” for his progress.
Martin Jones, who followed up the birth of his son, Rory, with a 32-save win over the Penguins last Saturday, is expected to shoulder the heavy workload while backup Joey Daccord remains on the roster.
Grubauer, well on the way to his finest performance of the young season at Colorado before his injury, is 0-1-1 in three games with an .860 save percentage.
JADEN SCHWARTZ, JORDAN EBERLE MISSING IN ACTION
Leading scorer Jaden Schwartz, who suffered an injury riddled season last year and hasn’t yet missed a game this season despite routine maintenance days, took another one on Monday while getting early morning ice time with Jordan Eberle before the main group started their 11:00am session.
Schwartz has been productive and a necessary element to Matty Beniers’ line, playing on the left wing opposite of where Eberle. The chef’s kiss, backhand pass to the tape of Beniers for a goal against the Canucks last Thursday comes to mind. Back-to-back multi-point games to lead the Kraken in scoring through the first ten game stretch come to mind. His team leading ten points are well earned, but success is found on other parts of the ice than just the surface numbers.
“There’s so much more that he does,” Hakstol said. “He’s a possession guy. He’s got the ability just to settle a game down. He’s good on the wall and can take care of the puck getting out of your own zone. He can make the next play to continue possession.”
“He’s an important guy for our group.”
Morgan Geekie and Karson Kuhlman moved up to Beniers’ line for the day.
SHANE WRIGHT: NEXT GAME?
He’s been seen extracting as much production out of practices lasting between 60-90 minutes even on days where the Kraken have an optional skate. He’s been seen several minutes on ice following the formal conclusion of Monday’s practice. Center and franchise cornerstone-in-training Shane Wright is expected to get his turn in the lineup again soon. When exactly that turn comes?
Almost nobody knows for sure.
Wright has been scratched for the last three games, two of which were won by the Kraken and affected lineup decisions for the next night. Hakstol said not much may change versus the lineup iced on Saturday vs. Pittsburgh but hinted at the next turn coming soon.
“Shane’s making progress,” Hakstol said.
“He’s working on things and doing things we need and want him to do, outside of game action. He’s going to get back into game action, sooner than later.”
KRAKEN PRACTICE LINEUP VS CALGARY: 10/31