SEATTLE — Well, so much for Philipp Grubauer tending net against his former Colorado Avalanche teammates tonight.
After Seattle’s morning skate, Kraken coach Dave Hakstol confirmed Chris Driedger instead would get the start in goal at Climate Pledge Arena.
When Driedger was the first goalie off the ice at the skate, it seemed the plan was for him to get the start, and Hakstol later said that indeed was the case.
I noted that there’s not a lot of room for sentiment in the NHL, then asked Hakstol if he had taken into consideration Grubauer’s connection with the Avalanche before making the decision.
“Actually, I’ve talked with Gruby about it,” Hakstol said.
I asked what he said.
Hakstol laughed and labeled it a private conversation that would remain private.
“Gruby’s ready to go whenever we need him in net,” Hakstol said.
He noted that while this would be the first Kraken-Avalanche meeting, it wouldn’t be the last.
“Ultimately, you make the decision based off of what’s right for the team,” he said. “In terms of schedule, performance, everything else that comes into play.”
A little later, as planned, the Avalanche morning skate was optional with about eight players on the ice at various stages.
Bo Byram watched part of it from the bench, wearing a hoody. Byram hasn’t played after taking an elbow to the head from Vancouver’s Bo Horvat on Nov. 11, and tonight will be his third missed game since.
“He’s feeling OK,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.
He said he didn’t know if Byram came close to skating.
“I didn’t talk to (trainer Matt Sokolowski) this morning,” Bednar said. “He’s kind of on his own page right now when it comes to whether he’s feeling good. If he wants to skate, he’s going to do that. If he’s not … I saw him on the bike this morning earlier when I got here and stuff. I don’t have the sort of immediate update on what he was feeling like this morning.”
Bednar said he would be going with the same lineup against the Kraken as against the Canucks at Vancouver Wednesday.
So, that means these are the lines and D pairs:
J. Johnson-E. Johnson
Kuemper in goal.