Panthers Reinhart, Kraken Gourde

Kraken Game Day 30: Cup Final Cats, Seattle On A Slide

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Florida Panthers at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Joey Daccord

The Panthers are healthier than they were when they wrapped up their run to the Stanley Cup Final last spring, a loss in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights. Their current total of 36 points ranks tied for 5th in the overall NHL standings.

Panthers head coach Paul Maurice, a veteran bench boss with three previous organizations, took the Panthers to the Final in his first season in South Florida after leaving the Winnipeg Jets. (See video below)

The Cats are 8-4-and-2 away from home, while the Kraken have struggled at the Climate Pledge Arena with a record of 4-8-and-2.

The Kraken are one short of tying their all-time winless streak of nine games, set during the inaugural 2021-’22 season. They’re 1-6-and-3 in their last ten matches.

Goalie Philipp Grubauer remains unavailable while wingers Andre Burakovsky and Jaden Schwartz are also missing from the Seattle line-up. Justin Schultz missed last game due to injury, although it appears as if it’s more about his continuing rotation with fellow 3rd-pair, veteran D-man Brian Dumoulin.

Dumoulin and rookie Ryker Evans are expected to play together again tonight.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

Sam Reinhart is clearly the hottest Cat, last week named the NHL’s 3rd star. He posted eight points, seven of them assists, in three games. He had a career high four assists in the win over the Blue Jackets on Sunday. He has 13 multi-point games this season and presently sits fifth overall in NHL scoring with 37 points.

His dad Paul Reinhart played 11 seasons as an NHL defenseman.

It’s hard to nail down a “hot” Kraken player at the moment, so we’ll stick with winger Jared McCann since he leads the club in goal scoring with 13. He’s third in overall scoring with 18 points, three behind winger Oliver Bjorkstrand and four behind D-man Vince Dunn.

We could list a solid handful of the Kraken forwards as “not hot”.

Due to his lengthy time spent with the Panthers rival Tampa Bay Lightning, Yanni Gourde has a strong background against the Cats with 18 points over 26 head-to-head games.

Special Teams

The Panthers went 1-for-2 on Sunday in Columbus on the man advantage. Given their record and some of their talent up front it’s a little surprising that their ranked just 18th in the NHL on the power play, one slot behind the Kraken.

Florida clicks just 18.8% of the time while Seattle is at 20.4%. The Kraken didn’t score a goal at all two evening’s ago against the Wild.

Penalty kill wise, the Cats have a decent 81.3 kill rate, 13th in the league, after stopping both Columbus power play chances. The Kraken are at a not-so-decent 76.8% overall, but are hot lately. Seattle has killed off all 11 opposing power play chances over the last five home games.

Coming In:

Panthers: 17-8-and-2 after a 5-2 win in Columbus over the Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Kraken: 8-14-and-7 following their 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild at Climate Pledge Arena on Sunday night.

Game Day Kraken:

— Exclusive chat with Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice after the team’s morning skate on Tuesday …

“Simmer’s Morning Skate”

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.