Kraken Game Facts:
This Evening: Seattle Kraken at Calgary Flames
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
When: 6:30 pm pacific
TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3
Starting goalies: Chris Driedger vs. Jacob Markstrom
This is the 200th game in Kraken franchise history. Blueliner Adam Larsson is the only player to participate in every one of them so far.
Driedger starts an NHL game in net for the first time since May 1st, 2022. After suffering an injury for Canada at the World Championship that spring, he missed all of last season at the NHL level. He’s been backing up Joey Daccord with regular number-one Philipp Grubauer out with another injury.
The Flames and Kraken are tied in the Pacific Division with 33 points with Calgary having played one fewer game.
Calgary beat Seattle twice in November at Climate Pledge Arena. On November 5th they won 6-3 with two empty-net goals and on November 20th they prevailed in overtime 4-3 with D-man Rasmus Andersson getting the game winner.
The Flames have been missing a D-man and two depth centers all season and apparently won’t be getting them back anytime soon. The line-up you see is the healthy line-up they’ve been using all along.
The Kraken injuries have been less severe in most cases, but recently more frequent.
Andre Burakovsky and Jaden Schwartz remain out of the line-up with Schwartz on long-term injured reserve.
Like Burakovsky, 4th-line center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is on regular injured reserve, as is goalie Grubauer, he of the $5.9-million annual salary, the no-trade clause, and the frequent lower body problems.
Previously dinged up winger Jared McCann and defenseman Justin Schultz are back and available.
After going with their six regular, veteran defensemen in Los Angeles, rookie Ryker Evans rotated back in and bumped Schultz out of the line-up for the win in Anaheim on the weekend.
Who’s Hot? And Not …
Kraken D-man Vince Dunn factored into all of the Seattle scoring against the Ducks on the 23rd with a goal and two assists. Despite two pointless games prior to that, he did finish plus-3 in Dallas against the Stars on December 18th.
Oliver Bjorkstrand has six points over his last five games and is second to Dunn (28) in team scoring with 27 points.
Center Matty Beniers has a three-game point streak while winger Tomas Tatar has four points over his first four games as a Kraken.
Yanni Gourde, who played in his 500th career NHL game against Anaheim, has just one point over his last 14 games.
Andersson of Calgary, one of the more under-rated D-men in the NHL, has nine points over nine head-to-head games against the Kraken.
Blake Coleman and Nazem Kadri share the team lead in points with 24.
Rookie forward Connor Zary is one to keep an eye on.
The Kraken went 1-for-1 on the power play in Anaheim on Saturday night and saw their season percentage sneak up to 20.8%.
The Seattle penalty kill gave up one Ducks power play goal on three chances and touts a slightly substandard 79.2% kill rate for the season. Keep in mind, that’s a dramatic improvement over earlier in the campaign and the PK has been very good over the last three weeks.
The Flames have the 30th ranked power play in the NHL at a measly 11.8%. Their PK is a solid 83.3% performer.
Kraken: 12-14-and-9 after their 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
Flames: 14-15-and-5 after a 5-3 loss at the Los Angeles Kings that same night.
— Simmer’s Holiday 9: Hot Kraken Back At It, Scotty Bowman, Lying PR