The Philadelphia Flyers will look to avenge their loss to the Seattle Kraken just four days ago, 4-3 at the Wells Fargo Center, while the Kraken will attempt to take a huge step towards a playoff berth.
Yep, that’s right. A huge step. If Seattle can beat head coach Dave Hakstol’s former club, they will establish home ice for their stint of four-of-the-next-five at Climate Pledge Arena and set themselves up to only having to go .500 the rest of the way to make the playoffs. That’s not what the team will be thinking, but that’s the encouraging math as it stands right now.
Former Everett Silvertips star Carter Hart will start in net for the Flyers while Philipp Grubauer will get his third consecutive start for the Kraken.
“Grooby” is coming off an outstanding 38-save performance against the Winnipeg Jets two nights ago in the 3-2 shoot-out loss. He won the game on Sunday in Philly with less impressive numbers and a quieter workload.
Flyers coach John Tortorella talked about Sunday’s loss to Seattle after today’s (Thursday’s) morning skate.
“I don’t think anything was there,” he said. “And like I said yesterday, when you see how badly we played, and again, I don’t want to disrespect Seattle because they were good, but so many people were bad, I do think the affect of playing a couple of hard games against Nashville and Edmonton, both physical games, I think we were — I don’t think it’s physical, it’s mental — because we didn’t do anything right.”
By the way, Hakstol’s stint in Philadelphia was pretty good for a team that seems to be in a constant state of re-tooling. In three full seasons plus 31-games before being let go during the 2018-’19 season, Hakstol’s club made the playoffs twice before bowing out in the first round both times. Ironically, he was there for the arrival of “goaltending savior” Hart, tonight’s starter for Philly, just as the young netminder was starting his NHL career.
Hart played well that season and the next, but went through an implosion in 2020-’21 that lasted much of two seasons. He seems to have found his game again.
Kraken AM Skate
A non-life threatening crisis, but a crisis nevertheless, prevented SHI’s attendance at morning skate, so we’re poaching the Kraken morning line-up from radio man Mike Benton’s posting.
Jared McCann – Matty Beniers – Jordan Eberle
Daniel Sprong – Alexander Wennberg – Brandon Tanev
Eeli Tolvanen – Yanni Gourde – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Ryan Donato – Morgan Geekie – John Hayden
Jaden Schwartz – skated on his own earlier. Sprong his plug-in.
Vince Dunn – Adam Larsson
Carson Soucy – Justin Schultz
Jamie Oleksiak – Will Borgen
Schwartz is expected to play. He missed eight games due to a lower body injury and returned to the line-up February 7th. He’s played a total of 45 games this season and tallied 25 points.
Puck drop is a bit after 7 pm this evening.
Enjoy the Hockey Action!!