The Boston Bruins would like nothing more than to roll into Seattle and start their four-game western road trip with a victory over a Kraken team that handed them their first of only two home losses this season back on January 12th. Despite losing 73% of face-offs, the Kraken dominated neutral zone play, blocked 19 shots and earned the 3-0 shut-out win for goalie Martin Jones.
Exciting or not, Seattle will want to take whatever they bottled from that game and use it again against the NHL’s top team. The Bruins own 43 wins and 91 points, seven more than anyone else.
Meanwhile, Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol is looking to see some of his team’s resiliency after dropping a 4-0 road decision on Monday to the non-playoff San Jose Sharks.
“Well, it’s got to become part of the fabric,” he said after Thursday’s morning skate. “We feel that it is, and every night you have to go out and continue to hold that bar. We were below the bar the other night, we know that. You have to bounce back and make sure you’re at the bar tonight. Against a good team, you can’t try to do too much. You’ve got to just do the things that you’re really good at and be confident in that and go play that way.”
Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer gets the start against the Bruins.
Don’t Call Me Frodo
We the media can’t help ourselves with a little word and name play of course. There has already been the ‘Frodo the Hobbit’ references with the arrival of Jesper Froden from the Kraken’s Coachella Valley affiliate in the AHL.
Yet there’s nothing to tease this season about 25 goals and 47 points in 44 AHL games. The 28-year-old Swede has earned the call-up and will be inserted into the line-up against the NHL team he first signed with in the summer of 2021. Froden played seven games for the Bruins last season and tallied his first and only NHL goal against Ottawa Senators netminder Anton Forsberg back on April 14th.
“He’s earned his way to have this opportunity and we’re not just bringing him in to hope that it goes well, we’re bringing him in and he’s part of the plan tonight,” Hakstol said. “He’s got a job to do. He’s confident in his abilities and his readiness to jump in and do it, and we feel the same way.”
Hakstol referred to Froden as a smart and competitive player who can finish, who can play in different roles up and down the line-up.
Forward Daniel Sprong is the odd man out up front while Carson Soucy jumps back in along the blueline with Cale Fleury and Jaycob Megna being the scratches.
The Kraken placed goaltender Chris Driedger on waivers Thursday. The 28-year-old regular back-up to Grubauer last season played in 27 games for the Kraken before injuring his right knee in late May while playing for Canada at the men’s senior World Championship. He had surgery on his ACL and has spent this season on injured reserve.
If he clears waivers tomorrow, the Kraken will have a decision to make and potentially some goalie shuffling to do in Coachella Valley. Carrying three goalies at the NHL level, even just getting them work in routine practices, is awkward and untenable. There are also the obvious salary cap implications.