Based on his hard work-outs following the Kraken’s regular morning skate on Sunday, it appears the club’s regular season leading scorer Jared McCann is close to making his playoff return.
Although he wouldn’t be expected to play in Game-3 Sunday night at Climate Pledge Arena against the Dallas Stars, it would appear Game-4 on Tuesday night would be within reach. That’s pure speculation.
“Nice step for him, he’s out of the red jersey and into the white jersey, so a positive step,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol stated.
Recovery from “having his bell rung” by Cale Makar on a late hit in Game-4 of the opening round series against the Colorado Avalanche can be unpredictable. Makar was suspended one game for the incident while McCann has missed five playoff games.
“I’ve been through it many times, in this position, so I know how he feels. I know there’s some good days and some bad days,” Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn said after the skate. “Just usually letting the medical staff handling it, I’m just there to be a friend, not really ask how he is, because I know that can be frustrating for him. Nice to see him out there again and be passing the puck with him again.”
Kraken Scoring Leader
McCann led the team with 40 goals and 70 points during the regular season. The club’s top line featuring McCann, Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle had contributed one goal through the first three games of the postseason, but obviously they helped created a match-up challenge for the Avalanche as the Kraken rolled four lines.
Eberle has stepped it up in McCann’s absence with three goals and three assists total over nine playoff games. Rookie Tye Kartye, seeing regular ice time on the opposite wing, has two goals and stands as a plus-four through his first five career playoff games. The physical 22-year-old was called up from the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds when McCann was smashed out of the line-up.
Hakstol will have line-up decisions to make upon McCann’s inevitable return. Call it a good problem to have.
“He’s making really good progress and definitely a really key piece that we’re missing,” Dunn added. “I think a lot of guys have stepped up to fill in his role a little bit, but we’re definitely excited to see him back out there again with us.”