Kraken foe, Joe Veleno

Kraken Daily: AHL WCF Opponent, Skate As A Weapon?

Kraken Franchise Success

Beginning at 5 pm pacific on Sunday, the Kraken’s American Hockey League affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds will start to learn who their next opponent will be in the Calder Cup playoffs. That’s when the Texas Stars and Milwaukee Admirals face-off in their fifth and deciding game of the Central Division final.

The winner will play the Firebirds in the best-of-seven western conference final starting later this week.

The Kraken farm team moved on with a dramatic 6-5 overtime victory on Friday night in the deciding game of the Pacific Division final against the AHL’s top seeded Calgary Wranglers. Andrew Poturalski scored the series winner.

Dangerous Skate

My friend Bart Hull of the Hull hockey family (Bobby, Brett, etc.), also my longtime color commentator back in minor league days, used to describe playing hockey as “two knives on your feet, a club in your hand and four minutes if you draw blood.”

He was joking for the most part, because you’re never supposed to use those blades or that large twig as weapons, and it’s never pretty when it happens.

Hockey Canada and Canadian center Joe Veleno completely accepted the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) 5-game suspension handed down to Veleno after his egregious and dangerous use of his skate to try to harm an opponent.

“We have been informed that the IIHF Disciplinary Committee has imposed a five-game suspension to Joe Veleno for an on-ice incident that occurred during Canada’s game against Switzerland on May 20,” Team Canada General Manager Doug Armstrong issued in a statement. “Canada’s National Men’s Team acknowledges the role of the committee and appreciate the diligence that went into the decision-making process, and we accept and support the IIHF’s decision.”

Armstrong’s fulltime gig is general manager of the St. Louis Blues.

During the 2nd period of Saturday’s Canada-Switzerland match at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia, Veleno deliberately stomped down on the ankle of Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter during a puck battle along the boards. A clear no no.

“I have been notified of the five-game suspension imposed by the IIHF for my actions in our game against Switzerland. I accept the sanction from the IIHF and apologize for my actions,” Veleno said in a statement.

The suspension essentially prevents Veleno from playing in the remainder of this year’s tournament. If Canada makes the Gold Medal or Bronze Medal game, that would be their fifth upcoming match.

Overtime Magic

This just in, as of 3 pm pacific on Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights have defeated the Dallas Stars for the second straight time in overtime to go up 2-0 in games in the Western Conference Final of the Stanley Cup playoffs. This time the hero was Chandler Stephenson cashing in on a rebound, two days after Brett Howden gave the Knights the OT victory in Game-1.

Unlike the four-overtime affair that settled Game-1 of the Eastern Conference Final, that also went to OT in Game-2, the Vegas victories didn’t take long in the extra sessions. Howden’s goal came at the 1:35 mark and Stephenson’s just 1:12 into the bonus period.

It’s the first time in NHL history that the first four games of the Stanley Cup semi-finals have all gone to overtime. Florida won both OT games in the other series with Matthew Tkachuk scoring both game winning goals.

I’m not sure if Kraken fans are rooting against the Stars because they beat Seattle, or for the Stars because sometimes you like to see the team that knocked you out go on to win. It sort of makes the Kraken’s effort and cause look a bit stronger.

I reckon it’s a mix of both.

Enjoy the Hockey Action !!

Links to other very recent Seattle Hockey Insider stories:

— Seattle Thunderbirds Win the WHL

— Kraken: The Impact of Andre Burakovsky’s Groin

— Kraken: Back to the Future Goaltending?

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.