The only winless team in the NHL resides just up the highway from the Seattle Kraken. The Vancouver Canucks, full of optimism at training camp at Whistler, BC in the September, have quickly fallen on hard times, starting the season with a record of 0-5-and-2.
They’ll be desperate and likely feisty against the 3-3-and-2 Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena on Thursday night. The Canucks will be without top defenseman Quinn Hughes, presently on injured reserve with a lower body injury, right shot defenseman Tucker Poolman, out with not unexpected headache/concussion problems, and recently often injured winger Brock Boeser, day to day with a nagging hand injury suffered in training camp.
Feisty forward, right-shot center, summer pick-up Curtis Lazar is likely out three to four weeks. AHL stalwart Sheldon Dries replaces him in the Canucks line-up.
Aside from that everything is fine, unless you work in the front office. More later.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Kraken are coming off two dominating performances, one they didn’t close out against the Chicago Blackhawks in a 5-4 loss on Sunday and a subsequent one against the Buffalo Sabres that ended with Seattle’s 5-1 victory on Tuesday night.
With the Kraken finding a groove and the Canucks experiencing desperation, could the affair become chippy? It would do wonders for the Pacific Northwest rivalry.
“Our focus is going to be on ourselves and what we need to do to be successful,” Seattle Kraken Head Coach Dave Hakstol said Wednesday. “The win Tuesday night is a good one, we’re sitting at .500, we have an opportunity to push some momentum in our building. That’s what it’s about in our dressing room, setting ourselves up for success.”
The Seattle Kraken Foe
The Canucks are looking to climb out of the despair. Their general manager Patrik Allvin addressed the media in Vancouver on Wednesday; asked whether he thought his club could turn it around.
“I do think so, the way they’re working every day and trying to find solutions, trying to find ways to win hockey games,” Allvin said, “I do think that we have a lot of good players on this team.”
The Canucks are coming off a two day break following a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at home on Monday. The Kraken haven’t had that luxury since the regular season started on October 12th. Seattle has played a game at least every other day so far, a phenomenon that finally ends after Saturday night’s home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Kraken will finally get consecutive days off.
North Vancouver native Martin Jones gets the start in net for the Seattle Kraken, while Thatcher Demko gets the nod for the Vancouver Canucks.