Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks

Can Kraken Finally Beat The Northern Neighbors

They almost had a win last time out on December 22nd, when the Kraken were up two goals in the third period in Vancouver, only to lose 6-5 in a shoot-out to the Canucks. It was loss number six in six regular season games versus their northern neighbors.

Seattle gets another chance Wednesday night at Climate Pledge Arena, hosting a club that sits 18 points behind them in the Pacific Division. They’ve lost to Vancouver more than any other team, and along with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets, the only NHL franchises against whom the Kraken have never picked up a regular season win.

Tocchet Vs. Kraken

The Canucks have a brand new head coach in Rick Tocchet, who picked up a victory his first day on the job, 5-2 over the lowly Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Tuesday night.

Tocchet brings a similar mindset as a coach that he had as a player, through the filter of a less violent “modern NHL”. He piled up points and even more penalty minutes during his 18-year NHL career as a no-holds-barred winger. The Canucks will at least try to adapt his work ethic.

They didn’t need “Tock” with them to take the ‘strong man’ approach to winning the first meeting with the Kraken this season in October. Canucks J.T. Miller and Tanner Pearson both picked fights in the first few minutes of the first period, setting the tone for their eventual 5-4 victory on the 27th.

As a team the Canucks lead the NHL in fighting majors with 23. The Kraken have 12. Expect that number to go up Wednesday.

While Vancouver played Tuesday night, the Kraken are coming off their first multi-day break since Christmas. They have 59 points, good for third place in the Pacific, but clearly the best winning percentage in the division (.641) based on games in hand. Seattle has played four less times than the second place LA Kings (60 points) and three less times than the first place Vegas Golden Knights (61).

The Canucks have 41 points, six games below .500, 14 points behind the 5th-place Calgary Flames.

Puck drop a little bit after 7 pm pacific on Wednesday.

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.