Red Hot Kraken
With a 7-1-and-1 record over their last nine games, the Seattle Kraken earned back-to-back days off from the coaching staff. Other than during special holiday or All-Star breaks, this is a pretty rare opportunity for an NHL club. Then again, the Kraken have played a lot of extra, intense hockey as of late, with their last three games all ending in overtime.
The well rested Kraken will lace them back up for practice on Tuesday at the Kraken Community Iceplex in preparation for Wednesday night’s game at the Climate Pledge Arena against the San Jose Sharks.
A nifty note from the team: When Jared McCann opened the scoring on Saturday night in the 3-2 OT win against the Los Angeles Kings, he scored his 100th career NHL goal in what just happened to be the Kraken’s 100th game as a franchise.
McCann was a 2014 1st-round pick, 24th overall, of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft. He was dealt to the Florida Panthers in May of 2016 in a deal for defenseman Erik Gudbranson, moved to Pittsburgh with forward Nick Bjugstad close to the trade deadline in 2019, and traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for three days in July of 2021, just ahead of being taken by the Kraken from Toronto in the expansion draft.
McCann led the Kraken in scoring last season with 50 points, 27 of them goals, in 74 games played.
When both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin score goals in a game, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 97-9-and-5 since ‘Geno’ showed up in 2006. Pretty remarkable for a duo that has led the franchise to three Stanley Cup victories, 2009, 2016, and 2017.
Sunday night Malkin played in his 1,000th NHL game where he recorded a goal, his 1,166th point. That’s just 112 less than Crosby had at his 1,000th game mark. The Penguins beat the Blackhawks in Chicago 5-3.
Speaking of Which …
One of the great two-way players of this last generation had his sweater hoisted to the rafters at the United Center in Chicago before the Blackhawks game against the Penguins. And speaking of three Stanley Cups, Marian Hossa helped the ‘Hawk’s win three of them as well, 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Easily overlooked by the casual hockey fan, the talented, hard working Slovakian played more than 13-hundred games and tallied more than 11-hundred points while skating in the shadows of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago. Needless to say, Hossa was integral, he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.
Hossa famously played in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final for Pittsburgh and lost to the Detroit Red Wings, played for the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, before hoisting the chalice the next summer when Chicago beat the Philadelphia Flyers.
At my lone Memorial Cup final, I watched Hossa’s WHL Portland Winterhawks defeat the OHL Guelph Storm in Spokane. Hossa was injured early in the game on a low hit and was pushed out on to the ice in an office chair for the postgame celebration.
Twenty-four years later, his NHL number-81 now dangles from the rafters in Chicago.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!