Seattle Kraken, Tampa Bay Lightning

Kraken MLK Matinee; Seeking Bolts Retribution

Revenge for the 6-2 loss in Tampa on December 13th may or may not be on the minds of the Seattle Kraken on Monday afternoon, but it wouldn’t hurt.

That’s because coming back off an extended eastern road trip, especially one as long as seven games, is a classic let down moment for NHL west coast teams over the years. It just is.

So there’s that, and there’s the matinee factor. A 1 pm start in Seattle can mess with the body clocks and routines quite a bit and it’s hard to say which team it might impact more. Both clubs have been in town about the same amount of time after winning games in the central time zone on Saturday night.

The Kraken are coming off an 8-5 shelling of the Chicago Blackhawks while the Lightning polished off the St. Louis Blues 4-2.

Standings Shock

Wow! Arriving home with an eight game win streak has meant the Kraken get to take a gander at NHL standings that have a whole different look than they did two weeks ago.

The Pacific Division’s 2nd-place club, the Kraken trail the first place Vegas Golden Knights by two points, but by virtue of having played four less games than Vegas, Seattle actually has the best winning percentage in the division and the second best in the Western Conference, trailing the Winnipeg Jets by just .003 percent.

By the way, the Kraken don’t see the Golden Knights again head-to-head until the middle of April when they play each other in a home-and-home set in the last two games of the regular season for both clubs.

Bolts of Lightning

Kraken center Yanni Gourde heads into Monday’s game against his former club on a bit of roll. A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning before joining the Kraken before last season, Gourde has ten points, two of them goals, over his last eight games.

Another Kraken center, Alexander Wennberg, is averaging a goal-a-game against the Bolts over his last four head-to-head match-ups.

Meanwhile, the Kraken’s leading scorer during their eight-game win streak, defenseman Vince Dunn, just happens to have a six-game point scoring streak (10 points). A point vs Tampa would add to his personal career best point streak and tie him with Jordan Eberle and Adam Larsson for the longest in team history.

Remember, the holiday matinee at Climate Pledge Arena starts on Monday a little after 1 pm pacific.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.