Kraken get Philipp Grubauer back in practice, Tanev day-to-day

Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 24: Brandon Tanev #13 of the Seattle Kraken reacts after a hard check by Nils Hoglander #21 of the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Climate Pledge Arena on November 24, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The morning after a Seattle Kraken loss to the Vancouver Canucks delivered a practice session built before a season ticket holder crowd, and rooted on technique with elevated pace as the Kraken will try to maintain their grip on the final wild card spot past the quarter pole of the season.

There was no bag skate, following a night where Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said several players were “below the bar,” but instead, a subtle 36-minute reminder of execution and pace for a team that short circuited after climbing back to a one-goal deficit by the end of the second period. 

“Our transition wasn’t very good last night,” said Hakstol.  “So, we were able to get a couple of pieces of practice in for that. But mostly, get up and down the rink.” 

Yanni Gourde, who took matters into his own hands with a scrap against Teddy Blueger in the final minutes of the game, was direct by answering the execution part from Friday night, which included a pair of breakaways surrendered on a first period power play and then a third period where the Canucks scored three times and outshot the Kraken 12-2. 

“That’s part of the reason why we lost that game,” said Gourde. “Our execution, our compete level early in the game. It’s good to get out there and go and compete a little bit, there were a few drills where our compete level was high.” 


Though the Kraken experienced a sigh of relief with Oliver Bjorkstrand skating in practice after leaving from a late Tyler Myers hit on Friday, Brandon Tanev expectedly missed practice on Saturday for further evaluation on a lower body injury he suffered on a bruising open ice hit by Nils Hoglander, and further casting doubt about the Kraken lineup heading into the road trip which starts Tuesday in Chicago. 

Hakstol said Tanev is out on a day-to-day basis, unclear just a few minutes removed from practice if Tanev would be able to make the start of the trip as of Saturday afternoon. If Tanev remains out, the Kraken have just 11 forwards and seven defensemen, two days removed from sending forward Andrew Poturalski back to the American Hockey League. 

It’s clear the Kraken have benefited from Tanev’s hyper, energy-driven presence after returning from a 14-game absence from another open ice hit, opening night against Vegas. Tanev set the tone in a 7-1 blowout of San Jose on Wednesday with a breakaway goal to open a run of six unanswered goals, and functions as a key component of the Kraken penalty kill. 


The absence for goaltender Philipp Grubauer lasted just two games after he exited a loss on Monday to Calgary with an undisclosed injury but was visibly shaken up after a collision on a breakaway with the Flames’ Martin Pospisil, who spun Grubauer around to the glove side post. 

Hakstol called Grubauer’s return to the ice “a good practice,” still pending a meeting with Kraken medical personnel, yet participated in full drills for the entire morning session. 

“It was the step we were looking for,” said Hakstol. “He’ll be on the trip. So, we’ll evaluate that now.” 

Chris Driedger, called up on Tuesday from the AHL, backed up Daccord on Wednesday and Friday and has yet to appear in game action at the NHL level since the season finale of two years ago. He was officially reassigned to Coachella Valley early Saturday afternoon, where he has a 6-4 record, one shutout, and a .915 save percentage in ten games.  

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