Although the Seattle Kraken have lost their last two games at home, the rest of Pacific Division leaders have faltered as well, leaving the door open for the Kraken to make a move with a victory over the gutted St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
The Blues have traded away sniper Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers and captain Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs, among others, as their general manager Doug Armstrong looks to regroup just four years removed from a Stanley Cup title.
The Kraken are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in their brief history. It would be quite an accomplishment as one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season. They’re trying to bounce back from a hard fought 6-5 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night followed by a sub-par effort and a 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.
The Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers, teams ahead of the Kraken in the Pacific Division, both cooperated by losing games in regulation on Monday night. Seattle already has a better win percentage than the third place Oilers, but remain two points back with two games in hand, one of those games being the match against the Blues.
According to morning skate reports in St. Louis, this is the line-up the Kraken should be facing on Tuesday night:
Brandon Saad – Brayden Schenn – Jordan Kyrou
Kasperi Kapanen – Robert Thomas – Pavel Buchnevich
Alexei Toropchenko – Logan Brown – Sammy Blais
Nathan Walker – Nikita Alexandrov – Tyler Pitlick
Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko (game time decision)
Marco Scandella – Justin Faulk
Torey Krug – Tyler Tucker
Kapanen, who scored the Gold Medal winning 4-3 overtime goal for Finland at the 2016 World Junior Championship against Russia, was picked up off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
(The leading scorer in that tournament, Jesse Puljujarvi of Finland, was traded Tuesday from the Oilers to the Carolina Hurricanes for a prospect in what amounts to a salary dump ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on Friday).
The Kraken beat the Blues 5-2 at Climate Pledge Arena back on December 20th.
Juggling For Goals
Via Piper Shaw of Root Sports, this is the projected line-up for the Kraken as Dave Hakstol juggles the lines a bit to spark some results.
Jared McCann – Matty Beniers – Jordan Eberle
Jaden Schwartz – Alex Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eeli Tolvanen – Yanni Gourde – Ryan Donato
Brandon Tanev – Morgan Geekie – Daniel Sprong
Vince Dunn – Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak – Will Borgen
Carson Soucy – Justin Schultz
(Andre Burakovsky (95 in photo) is likely to remain out of the line-up for about two more weeks).
Martin Jones is expected to start in net. Puck drop is a little bit after 5 pm pacific.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!