Kraken Wennberg and Canucks Hronek

Kraken Game Day 19; Cross-Border Battle, Big Challenge

The Kraken and Canucks will meet for the first time this regular season in the battle of the northern Pacific. So far the Canadian neighbors have had the better of it with Vancouver starting the season with the 3rd most points in the NHL through 17 games.

Meanwhile, Seattle is hoping to find its footing while nursing a sub-.500 record, good for 5th place in the Pacific Division.

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Seattle Kraken at Vancouver Canucks

Where: Rogers Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports NW / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Philipp Grubauer vs. Thatcher Demko

For the Kraken it comes down to sticking to their game plan and identity and staying out of the penalty box. The Canucks power play has been lethal this early season.

Vancouver needs to just keep doing what they’ve been doing; combining some high-end talent with solid work ethic. They’re coming off a classic “trap game” letdown loss at the Calgary Flames on Thursday night, one night after coming from behind at home to beat their former captain Bo Horvat and the New York Islanders.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Winger Eeli Tolvanen is a point-a-game player over his last seven with two goals and five assists. He owns a five-game road point streak.

Defenseman Vince Dunn has a five game point streak.

Centre Matty Beniers, off to a slow start in his sophomore season, is gradually showing signs of improved confidence, although in fits and starts. He ripped home his second goal of the season against the Islanders after going pointless in three straight.

Hot Canucks: Take your pick. They have the top three scorers in the NHL with Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes all having 27 points. Hughes’s partner Filip Hronek is the fourth leading scorer among NHL defenseman and earlier had an 11-game point streak.

Feisty winger Conor Garland, who’s moved around the line-up, has just five points in 17 games. Early in the season he changed agents and requested a trade.

Injury wise, the Kraken will miss winger Andre Burakovsky for a 13th consecutive game while former Seattle defenseman Carson Soucy will miss four to six weeks for the Canucks with a lower body injury. Top line Vancouver winger Andrei Kuzmenko took a slapshot to the chin two games ago, wore a mask at morning skate and appears to be available.

Special Teams

The Canucks then Kraken took part in special teams fests against the Islanders earlier in the week. On Wednesday Vancouver went 3-for-6 on the man advantage against New York while giving up a 2-for-2 night shorthanded.

Seattle went 3-for-4 against the Isles the next night while giving up a 2-for-5. That performance moved the Kraken to a 26.8% success rate overall on the PP, good for 7th best in the NHL. Their penalty kill slipped to 71.9%, 5th worst in the league.

On Thursday in Calgary, the Canucks went 1-for-3 on the PP and killed off both Flames advantages. Vancouver ranks second in the league with a remarkable 33.3% success rate on the advantage while the PK remains substandard at 75.9%.

Coming In:

Kraken: 6-8-and-4, after beating the Islanders in an eight-round shoot-out 4-3 on Thursday.

Canucks: 12-4-and-1 after a 5-2 loss in Calgary on Thursday.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken Blow Two Goal Lead, Lose In OT To The Oilers

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.