With no Jamie Oleksiak along the Seattle Kraken blueline for three games due to NHL suspension, Cale Fleury re-enters the line-up on Sunday against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.
“It’s about putting guys in situations to be successful,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said Sunday morning. “We have some history now with this group of six with the way that we use them and the rhythm in which we use them and in the different roles that each one of them plays.”
“Big Rig” Oleksiak was suspended by the league on Saturday following his hit-to-the-head of Washington Capitals defenseman Alex Alexeyev on Friday night.
The Capitals placed Alexeyev on injured reserve on Saturday.
The Kraken have been blessed with continuity along the blueline this season. Oleksiak is the only one of the regular six to miss time. When he sat out four games due to injury in mid-November, Fleury filled in for him three times, Gustav Olofsson filled in once.
The Kraken went 2-1-and-1 in Oleksiak’s previous absence. Olofsson is right handed while Oleksiak and Fleury are both lefties.
Schwartz Absence Short
The Seattle Kraken forward corps has remained unscathed for the most part this season as well, part of the reason for the team’s success.
Jaden Schwartz, who missed 45 games last season, has missed just one this campaign and it was Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. He’s back for the Sunday game against the Florida Panthers.
Aside from last season’s Kraken leading scorer Jared McCann missing three games this season, and versatile center Yanni Gourde missing one, the absences up front have been exclusive to 4th-liners. That’s a lucky formula for success.
— Martin Jones gets the start in net against the Panthers. His record on the season is 12-5-and-2 with a 2.97 goals against average and .888 save percentage.
— Florida beat Seattle on December 3rd 5-1 at Climate Pledge Arena. The Kraken beat the Panthers both times the teams met last season.
— Kraken D-man Adam Larsson enters Sunday’s game (3 pm pacific) with a career-best four game point streak in which he’s tallied five points.