Why Grubauer Is Going to Have a Big Year for the Kraken

Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken surprised everyone in the hockey world last season after being the third-worst team in their inaugural season in 2021-22.

The team finished last season with a 46-28-0-8 record, which was good for 100 points and the fourth spot in the Pacific Division. They then went on to defeat the heavily favored Colorado Avalanche in seven games in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Because of what the team was able to accomplish last season, the Kraken came into this year with higher expectations. Given that they have a lot of scoring depth, do not allow a lot of shots on goal, and have a solid head coach in Dave Hakstol, there is no reason why the team cannot repeat what they did last season.

In order to do so, they are going to need to get a great season from their goaltender Philipp Grubauer. Grubauer, 31, had an uneven regular season last year as he went 17-14-0-4 with a 2.85 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage.

The playoffs were a bit of a different story, however. He went 7-7 with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage as he did everything he could to get the Kraken to a high level when it mattered most.

I believe that Grubauer is due to have a great season this year for a few reasons. He showed what kind of goaltender he can be in the playoffs.

As I mentioned above, Grubauer was solid in the postseason. He made a lot of big saves, helped his team win a round, and played with a lot of confidence.

Grubauer should carry this into the upcoming season. If he is able to do that, his numbers should greatly improve from what they were last season.

Secondly, the team in front of him plays solid defensively. Last year, the team was second in the league in shots allowed, as they only gave up 27 shots per game.

If Grubauer plays with confidence and keeps his game simple, facing that amount of shots on a nightly basis should be easy for him to handle, assuming he stays healthy. Yes, Grubauer showed in the playoffs that he can handle a high volume of shots against, but things are always easier if the team in front of him plays responsibly and keeps high-danger scoring chances to a minimum.

Lastly, Grubauer comes into this season with a new slate. He is healthy, he has won a playoff round, and he showed the team and their fans why he should and will be their main man between the pipes.

It is now up to Grubauer to go out and do it.

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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