In the seemingly small pond that’s high-level hockey and the shallow puddle that’s Western Conference goaltenders, it appears unlikely that the Kraken’s Philipp Grubauer and Martin Jones wouldn’t have had an opportunity to get to know one another.
Grubauer has performed in opposition to Jones’ groups for a few decade however mentioned they’d barely talked. Part of coaching camp for them is establishing the chummy, but aggressive, relationship between a workforce’s goalies.
“Grubi seems like a pretty easy guy to do that with,” Jones mentioned.
Netminders can usually be seen chatting on the bench throughout media timeouts, providing ideas and observations. But if one’s thriving, that often means the opposite isn’t seeing plenty of ice time.
Jones spent two seasons backing up Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles and gained the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014. He discovered a beginning gig in San Jose and appeared in at the very least 60 video games, profitable at the very least 30 of them, every season from 2015-19. He was an All-Star in 2017.
“He’s a really good goalie and always fun to watch,” Grubauer mentioned.
In San Jose, Jones went 170-121-37 with a 2.66 goals-against common, .907 save share and 18 shutouts in 327 video games, plus a run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. The ending was harsh, with the Sharks shopping for out the ultimate three seasons of his six-year contract in 2021.
Jones’ workload was heavy — his 325 begins had been essentially the most within the league since his arrival in San Jose — and Sharks common supervisor Doug Wilson theorized to NHL.com that Jones “hit that wall.”
Jones signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers the subsequent day. He backed up Carter Hart to the tune of 33 begins in Philadelphia. He had a 3.42 goals-against common however his finest save share (.900) in 4 seasons. The Flyers launched into a 10-game dropping streak in November and completed second to final within the Eastern Conference.
It was a attempting season, Jones mentioned, however he’s seeing ahead movement. Fresh begin, Take 2, this time in Seattle.
“I think I’m real close to getting back to having some of the seasons I had early in San Jose,” Jones mentioned in August. “It’s been a good summer. I feel I’m ready to go.
“I’m going to push as hard as I can to play, push [Grubauer] as hard as I can.”
He’s a couple of hours from the place he was born in North Vancouver, British Columbia, which factored into his determination to signal a one-year, $2 million cope with the Kraken on the primary day of free company. His father, Harvey, is a longtime worker of Canucks Sports and Entertainment.
He and Grubauer bought to know one another final week, and each are working with new goaltending coach Steve Briere. The goaltending group bought some solo work in between group practices Friday at Kraken Community Iceplex, engaged on clears and dealing with photographs by screens.
Jones will familiarize himself behind a brand new protection and attempt to regulate to the seems he’s seeing.
“Just kind of hearing the guys’ voices, a little bit, before we get into games is important,” he mentioned.
At 32, Jones’ function has shifted.
“I’m getting older,” Jones mentioned, chuckling. “That’s kind of the next evolution of my career, I guess, being more of a leader and helping some of these young guys along.”
Things might get fascinating when final 12 months’s backup, Chris Driedger, who’s recovering from knee surgical procedure, is predicted to return within the second half of the season. He had the surgical procedure in June and was anticipated to overlook seven to 9 months. The Kraken even have Joey Daccord able to step in. Daccord made 4 begins, all losses, final season with a 4.30 goals-against common.
Driedger posted a 9-14-1 document with a 2.96 GAA, .899 save share and one shutout whereas lacking time as a result of damage. Grubauer’s numbers had been worse — 3.16 and .889, respectively — and he hinted at, however didn’t identify, technical alterations made within the offseason.
A little bit backup by no means harm. Whoever he’s.
206-464-8245 on Twitter: @KateShefte. Kate Shefte covers the Kraken and different Seattle-area groups for The Seattle Times.
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