The Seattle Kraken road show continues on Monday in Minnesota against the Wild.
The Kraken added to their remarkable NHL road record, 4th best in the league, with the 7-2 trouncing of the Predators in Nashville on Saturday. As a visitor this season the club ran it’s record to 24-9-and-4.
“It’s been different people contributing in different ways,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said postgame on Saturday. “Not just the guys on the scoresheet, there’s a lot of things that go on that are equally important to the guys that are providing offense. When you look at the guys that are digging in on critical penalty kills and doing different things. That’s our group, we don’t have success unless everybody’s doing their part.”
That productivity and collective effort will be put to the test against the tight checking Wild in St. Paul. They’ve been the hottest team in the NHL with a record of 14-1-and-4 over their last nineteen games, including a fourteen game streak in which they went unbeaten in regulation. They’re on a similar four game streak now.
The win Saturday gave the Kraken 88 points in the standings, a 28-point increase over last season’s final total, which already sets the new NHL record for improvement for a 2nd year club, passing the previous mark of 26 points set by the 1973-’74 New York Islanders.
The 40-win mark also brings distinction, making Seattle just the second team since expansion in 1967 to reach that mark in a franchise’s second season. The Vegas Golden Knights were the other in 2019. The Kraken need three wins to tie the Golden Knights mark of 43 that season.
More importantly, with each win moving forward, the Kraken will gradually eliminate teams behind them in the Western Conference standings and move closer to clinching a playoff spot.
Without doing “magic number” math, we’ll keep this real simple. If the Kraken win four of their final ten games they’d get to 96 points. The Calgary Flames would have to go 8-and-0 in their remaining games to pass Seattle, while the Nashville Predators, after a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday afternoon, would have to go at least 8-1-and-1 in their final ten to get the job done.
The Flames and Predators are the only two teams capable of knocking the Kraken out of the playoffs.