Kraken Gourde, Maple Leafs Nylander

Simmer’s Sunday 9: Kraken Opportunity, Media Ban, Hockey Manslaughter?

Kraken Up

Needless to say, the Kraken’s 4-3 win on Saturday night in Vancouver was a biggie. Whether the Canucks were fatigued or not from their recent schedule is a moot point. November happens to be one of the two busiest months on the Seattle schedule as well, the other being March.

Bottom line, the Kraken beat one of this season’s top NHL teams and they did so for a third consecutive match dating back to last season.

Simmer’s Sunday 9:

1) Now the big question: Can the Kraken finally get to the .500 mark? One might suggest this is the best opportunity they’ve had, hosting the Calgary Flames on Monday night. That’s not to suggest the Flames are still flailing, but Seattle should have a renewed confidence at this point having won their last two games, plus they already lost at home to Calgary 6-3 back on November 4th. Making amends for that should be another motivating factor.

Also, will Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane see belated retribution for his cross check to Jared McCann’s neck in that November 4th game. He was tossed out of that game following the incident.

If they take care of business Monday, the Kraken have the struggling San Jose Sharks in on Wednesday and would have an opportunity to actually slide up the standings.

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Kraken lost the two previous games this season when they had a chance to get back to .500. They haven’t been there yet having started the season 0-3-and-1.

2) The petty, dishonest, and comical ban that was put in place to prevent me from attending NHL games in Vancouver as a media member continued on Saturday night, with an attempt by the little guy that runs their PR department to substantiate it with a policy that only applies to me. When actually it doesn’t.

Nothing repeatedly insults our intelligence more, mine and that of my media cohorts, than the statement that they “don’t have room in the press box.”

More on this absurdity and its implications for their team and its owner at a later date. For now we’ll just enjoy the entertainment factor.

For friends and long-time cohorts from the other 31 NHL teams: No, I’m not kidding, this actually still happens.

3) It appears Yanni Gourde is the only player for the Kraken who has added a neck guard to his equipment following the October 28th death of former Pittsburgh Penguin Adam Johnson while playing for Nottingham in the British league.

Two things:

A) I believe it will only be a matter of time before the mandatory neck guard addition/rule will be grandfathered into the NHL, meaning new players will have to wear one while veteran players will have the option until they’re out of the league. Eventually all players will be wearing neck guards. Why allow something like this to happen again.

Women’s leagues and tournaments include the use of neck guards as do many youth and junior leagues around North America.

B) The kick by Matt Petgrave as he was falling sliced Johnson’s throat. Petgrave has been arrested for manslaughter. Watching the incident, it’s clearly not a hockey play and Petgrave’s high leg kick on the contact that was made is clearly not normal. At this point, I’ll leave it there.

4) I discuss this topic a bit with Seattle Kraken and TNT national TV play-by-play man John Forslund on this week’s “Simmer and Forslund” podcast which just dropped. You can click the link here or find it at the bottom of this page.

My weekly with Bruce Boudreau, “Simmer and Gabby” podcast drops on Wednesday evening this week.

5) Congrats to the NHL for another successful Global Series in Sweden that this time around featured the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Minnesota Wild. The four game semi-round-robin set of games unfolded in Stockholm beginning on Thursday and culminated with the Maple Leafs 4-3 overtime victory against the Wild on Sunday.

Willie Nylander scored the game winner. His Swedish-born father Michael played 920 games in the NHL.

The Global Series has taken a few different forms over the last decade-and-a-half and gives the league a chance to showcase its talent to an international audience. That potentially means more eyeballs on the TV games, more jerseys sold, etc., to more people.

I was fortunate to work what was called the Premiere Games in Sweden and the Czech Republic in 2009 and 2010 and it was truly a spectacle for the local fans, not to mention a great opportunity to bring players from those respective countries back to play in their native lands.

6) Trivia Slot: No mucking about: Who scored the Kraken’s first ever playoff goal, this past April I8th against the Avalanche?

(answer at the bottom of the page)

7) The Kraken are the only club in the NHL to have played 19 games this season. Only four other teams have played 18. “Games in hand” don’t seem to mean as much right now as they do in March when we’re dissecting the playoff races, but they do of course matter.

The Anaheim Ducks, the team the Kraken are tied with for 4th place in the Pacific Division, have played 17 games this season and therefore have two games in hand.

Seattle will try to break a negative trend this week by taking advantage of the home cooking at Climate Pledge Arena. They’re just 3-and-5 on home ice this season after going a combined 38-39-and-7 over the last two.

8) It was another amazing induction weekend in Toronto, culminating in 7 new honoured members joining the Hockey Hall of Fame. Recognition also goes out to media award winners Dan Rusanowski of San Jose Sharks radio for earning the Foster Hewitt Award on the broadcast side with Mark Mulvoy from the glory days of Sports Illustrated picking up the Elmer Ferguson Award for writers.

9) Two random tidbits about great number-9’s: The cremated remains of Gordie Howe and his wife Colleen are buried at the base of his statue outside the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, home of the WHL Blades.

Bobby Hull’s hometown of Point Anne, Ontario is a ghost town.

Trivia Answer: Eeli Tolvanen scored the first playoff goal in Seattle Kraken history.

Recent Desirables:

— Simmer’s Kraken Sunday 9: HHOF Memories, NHL Coach Fired

— Kraken: No On-Ice Retribution For Flames Mangiapane

This Week’s Podcast !! …

“Simmer and Forslund” podcast talking Kraken and NHL.

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.