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Kraken vs. Penguins RECAP: Grubauer has 33-Save Shutout in 2-0 WIN!

Player Photography provided by @Jennthulhu_Photos on Instagram

The German Gentleman is BACK, everybody.

But First, the Highlights!

Game Notes

  • Your TOI leader for tonight was Adam Larsson, with 25:01 logged!
  • The critical play of this game was two-fold, Philipp Grubauer playing out of his mind, and Ollie Bjorkstrand’s goal: The Kraken were getting filled in during the first period and getting just one goal off of a heads-up play in front of Jarry turned the game on it’s head. After that, Pittsburgh got desperate, and Philipp Grubauer made it clear he wasn’t worried whatsoever about the Pens’ attack; gobbling up every shot and leaving extremely little room for rebounds. What little rebounds came were sent right to the boards. Pittsburgh simply had no answer for him, and it made the difference.
  • Tidy 25% on 4 power plays tonight. Though given that they scored the only two goals of the night on the last one, I will happily take it.
  • His first shutout since April of 2022. That’s crazy. I know Dearest Grubert has had his struggles, but honestly it feels like something’s changed about his game since his injury; he’s more confident in his saves, his rebound control seems better, and the team actually seems interested in helping him out when he can’t get over to the puck. His vibes are improving, and not a moment too soon. Keep up the good work, Grubi.
  • I would also praise the PK for a job well done but honestly they could’ve played the entire second period on the man-disadvantage and I don’t think it would’ve changed anything. Pittsburgh’s power play is almost preposterously bad. I’m pretty sure ECHL teams have more dangerous puck movement at 5v4 than the Penguins do right now. Credit to the Kraken; they showed up knowing that was true, and took full advantage by finishing perfect on the night.
  • Look, the refereeing was kinda iffy, but I’m of the mind you build a team to take them out of the equation. Tonight, the Kraken figured out a way to do that. It helps that the Penguins special teams is mostly a go-kart filled with dynamite and lit matches.
  • Ozzie Alonso showed up to tonight’s game, which must explain why Philipp Grubauer’s header save and Jamie Oleksiak’s power kick to exit the zone in the third period worked so well; they must be excited to see Messi at Lumen Field during World Cup season!
  • Playoff Race Update: The Wild got absolutely dunked on by the Predators, and that set up a critical “rise to the occasion” kind of moment for this game; win and get right the hell back into it, or lose and fall behind. The Kraken absolutely rose to this occasion. Of course, now that they’re level with the Flames (who just traded away Chris Tanev to Dallas. 😔) and the Blues, they need to get some big wins as Minnesota and Calgary get some pretty soft competition on Saturday evening. They’re also gunning for one of the Wild card spots; which are now conveniently both at 70 points. 8 points is a lot, but now every loss around them helps a lot.

Let’s Give a Hand To!

  • Ollie Bjorkstrand! Bjorky got the ball rolling on the scoresheet with a bat-in goal off of a tough Wennberg shot off Jarry. The Maestro’s badly needed that one; it’s his first in 9 games, and it seemed to give him a major confidence boost; playing out of his mind for the rest of the night. Let’s see this be the start of a lovely point streak!
  • Alex Wennberg! Wenny had two points tonight; the 2nd tally late, and the initial shot that Bjorkstrand put past Tristen Jarry.
  • Tye Kartye! Another character performance for Tye. He was physically engaged all night and made life difficult for plenty of Penguins. Gotta love ’em for it.
  • Philipp actual Grubauer! Grubi’s big night was essential to the Kraken getting these much needed two points. A clean sheet on 33 shots, and as we’ll see down in the heat map; a good portion of them were pretty high-danger. Well done, German Gent.

The Charts!

Look, they just how many, not how you got there.

Still, the Kraken should probably be ready for a much tougher matchup next time.

Now begins the Kraken’s roughest stretch of teams to face in the season: Starting by hosting the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon at 1pm PT.

We’ll see you then, and as always; thank you for reading.

Keep Calm, and Post Zoidberg When We Win

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