Blackhawks Bedard, Ex Kraken Donato

Kraken Game Night 31: The Bedard Tour, Donato Returns

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Chicago Blackhawks at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 7 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Arvid Soderblom vs. Joey Daccord

24-year-old Swede Soderblom will appear in his 32nd career NHL game. Typically he splits time with veteran Czech Petr Mrazek. Daccord has just 36 games of NHL experience, but he’s coming off his first career shut-out as looks to secure the helm of the Kraken goaltending position.

Thursday’s game features the first appearance of rookie phenom and first-year NHL leading scorer Connor Bedard. The North Vancouver, BC native was the 1st-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and has posted 12 goals and 12 assists in 28 games thus far.

Also appearing for the Blackhawks tonight, former Kraken winger Ryan Donato. His tenacity and scoring are missed. An original Kraken, he had 30 goals over his two seasons in Seattle. He has four goals and ten points so far this season.

The Blackhawks are missing six regulars from their line-up due to injury, including big defenseman Seth Jones.

Seattle snapped an eight game winless streak with their win over the Florida Panthers two nights ago. Head coach Dave Hakstol expects to ice the same line-up.

Seattle will seek revenge for a 4-3 loss in Chicago on November 28th that started their disappointing four-game road trip. Chicago has the fewest points in the NHL standings, 19.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

The Blackhawks are banged up. The man to watch is Bedard for obvious reasons. He’s the latest budding superstar forward to join the league. His 24 points in 28 games is overshadowed by the fact that the Blackhawks are awful. Their 19 points are the fewest in the NHL standings.

Spokane native Tyler Johnson has just ten points in 28 games.

Defenseman Vince Dunn is averaging a point-a-game on home ice this season for the Kraken.

The 4th-line of Pierre Edouard Bellemare, Devin Shore and Kailer Yamamoto were the difference makers on Tuesday night. Each had a goal and an assist.

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 Blackhawks score on the power play just 10% of the time. That awful number is 30th in the NHL. They went 0-for-2 two nights ago in Edmonton. Their penalty kill is 24th at just over 76%. The Oilers went 1-for-2 on Tuesday night.

The Kraken failed on their lone PP opportunity on Tuesday against Florida, while holding the Panthers to an 0-for-3 night. Seattle remains just above 20% overall on the man advantage, while gradually improving lately on the PK. In fact, Seattle has killed off 14 consecutive opposing power plays at Climate Pledge Arena over the last five home games. They’re at 77% on the season.

Coming In:

Blackhawks: 9-18-and-1 after a 4-1 loss in Edmonton on Tuesday.

Kraken: 9-14-and-7 following their 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers two nights ago.

Recent Kraken:

— Exclusive chat with Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice after the morning skates 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.