Kraken Out Of The Gates
The Seattle Kraken puts themselves in an uncomfortable position the last two games of their road trip; they fell behind two-nothing and three-nothing rather quickly. Especially away from home, it’s not easy playing come-from-behind hockey. Sunday evening, the Kraken will try to make it tough on their visitors by getting off to a fast start.
“We’ve had some great starts at home, the crowd’s been unbelievable for us and it’s a huge boost when we get those early leads,” Kraken defenseman Justin Schultz said Sunday morning. “Think it’s every night, home or away, try to start quick and get that early lead.”
The Winnipeg Jets played and won Saturday night in Vancouver 5-1 against the Canucks. It’s a short turnaround and the Kraken will try to make it hard on them. Winnipeg has six regulars missing from the line-up.
Meanwhile, Schultz hopes to return to action Sunday after missing two games to injury. Big defenseman Jamie Oleksiak will for sure be back, having finished serving a three-game suspension.
The Kraken will try to snap a two-game skid, having also lost five of their last six games.
“You’ve gotta cut runs like this, where things aren’t going all that well, you’ve gotta cut those off, cut those short and just get back into the fight,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said after practice Saturday. “We were able to do that in Florida, we were not able to find points in two tough building on the road, now we’ve got an opportunity here, just as ‘Ebbs’ (Jordan Eberle) said, ‘we’re in a good spot’. So let’s have a short term focus here, that’s three games here before the Christmas break, let’s finish well, let’s feel really good about what we’re doing, go into a short Christmas break in a good spot.”
The Kraken have lost all four games in their history against the Jets, the latest being a 3-2 overtime setback on November 13th at Climate Pledge Arena.
Hakstol will announce his starting netminder late Sunday afternoon. David Rittich is expected to start for Winnipeg with Connor Hellebuyck having played Saturday night in Vancouver.