Martin Jones knew that a different phase of life was coming just two weeks ago.
It’s not about a return to vintage numbers. He became a father for the first time, when his wife Alex gave birth to their son, Rory on October 29. That same evening, Kraken veteran forward Jordan Eberle’s wife, Lauren, gave birth to their son, Deacon.
Rory and Deacon are bonded not just by the same birthdate, but by time. They were born 15 minutes apart.
“We were texting back and forth a few minutes after,” Jones said about an exchange that night with Eberle. “It was pretty cool.”
Jones has a concise way of describing an “awesome” status in his newfound life as a goaltender on the ice, and father off the ice.
“Everyone’s doing well at home,” said Jones. “It’s a new experience and a lot of fun so far.”
Since Rory entered the world, the Kraken haven’t lost a game. They’re on a five-game win streak.
Since then, Jones has adjusted to life with a seamless transition. When he’s in net, the Kraken have beaten Calgary, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh (twice). While caught up in his busiest workload in two years, appearing in eight of the last nine games out of necessity with Philipp Grubauer sidelined to injury, his save percentage has clocked in at .922.
The numbers are even better since the Kraken embarked on their winning streak: four games, all wins, one shutout, and tops in the NHL with a .966 save percentage.
“I’m feeling good right now,” said Jones. “Team’s playing really well. Everything’s just kind of clicking right now.”
“The hard part and the important thing are to not change anything and realize what we’re doing to have success. We’re checking well, we’re playing the right way for 60 minutes and it’s leading to wins.”
While head coach Dave Hakstol, father of two, clarified that no two life experiences are the same, the meaning of becoming a father and a hockey player opens the doors to a new, life changing perspective.
“You grow as you go through life,” said Hakstol. “For sure, becoming a father is one of the most impactful.”
MAGNUS HELLBERG, HE’S BACK
Jones will have a new stall mate in the Kraken dressing room, at least for the short term. Except, they did this back in training camp, too. Magnus Hellberg is back, the once waived goaltender who returns via waiver claim from the team ironically who took him away from Kraken hands, the Ottawa Senators.
Hellberg turned in 15 stops during a Sept. 27 pre-season win over the Calgary Flames and was never seen again. Ottawa claimed him off pre-season waivers after Hellberg originally was destined for AHL Coachella Valley, and ironically won in his Senators debut on Oct. 24 against Dallas.
Hellberg will wear #45 and is on the Kraken active roster ahead of Friday night’s game against Minnesota.
To make room for the move, the Kraken re-assigned Joey Daccord to Coachella Valley after the conclusion of practice.
KRAKEN LOSE OLEKSIAK, GAIN OLOFFSON
Jamie Oleksiak, last seen in the second period of Tuesday night’s win over Nashville while entangled in the corner with Michael McCarron, was officially put on the shelf hours after the Kraken completed Thursday practice with a lower body injury and placed on injured reserve.
Oleksiak, who leads the Kraken with 40 hits and presents an imposing frame at 6-foot-7 on the blueline, has five points in 14 games while routinely playing on a defensive pairing with Justin Schultz.
Cale Fleury who has yet to make his season debut, skated with Schultz in Thursday’s practice. Hakstol confirmed Fleury will play on Friday night.
Down to just six defensemen, the Kraken recalled blueliner Gustav Olofsson from Coachella Valley, who has four assists in eight games.
KRAKEN PRACTICE LINEUP, 11/10: