Kraken On The Cusp
No offense, as “there’s no easy night in the NHL”, but it would be understandable hockey human nature if the Kraken had a wee bit of a letdown heading into Saturday’s game against the Blackhawks following Seattle’s monumental win in Boston on Thursday night. The ‘Hawks are tied for the lowest point total in the NHL with 26.
The Kraken were the first team to beat the Bruins at TD Garden in regulation this season and they did it with a 3-0 shut-out. The goalie who pitched it, Martin Jones, gets the start in Chicago.
The Kraken can actually set pro sports history with a win. They would be the first NHL or NBA team to ever sweep a road trip of seven or more games. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol appeared unaware of the mark, more concerned with the two points at hand.
“We’re now at the halfway point of the year,” Hakstol said Saturday norning. We’ve got a really important hockey game tonight. So, take advantage of the opportunity tonight and then once we’re on the other side of this game, then we’ll worry about what’s coming next. You can talk all you want about this road trip, but in reality, I mean, it doesn’t end.
“We go home for whatever, 24 hours, and we’re back on the road in Edmonton. No change in approach, just try to take care of business day in and day out. Try and take advantage of the opportunity and be ready to play every single night, and our group has done a really good job of doing exactly that.”
The Kraken own 54 points and sit in third place in the Pacific Division, five ahead of both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers with two and three games in-hand respectively. What’s more startling is the fact the Kraken are only two points behind the second place LA Kings with four games in hand.
Thanks to Root TV producer Scott Malone, here’s the morning skate line-up:
Andre Burakovsky – Matty Beniers – Jordan Eberle
*Ryan Donato – Alex Wennberg – Jared McCann
Eeli Tolvanen – Yanni Gourde – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Brandon Tanev – Morgan Geekie – Daniel Sprong
Vince Dunn – Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak – Justin Schultz
Carson Soucy – Will Borgen
— Ryan Donato filled in for an absent Jaden Schwartz, who’s a game time decision. He’s missed one Kraken game previously this season.
— Superstar forward and three-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Kane will play for the Blackhawks. He missed the last three games with a lower body injury.