Seattle Kraken, Brandon Tanev

The Kraken, Schedule Strength, And The Red Hot 5

Kraken Schedule Dynamics

One might wonder how the heck five teams in the Western Conference could all be THIS hot, all at the same time. Well, for one thing, they haven’t crossed paths for awhile.

Despite their loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night, the Winnipeg Jets have gone 8-1-and-1 in their last ten games and sit atop the Central Division with 60 points. They have a single game in-hand on the 2nd place Colorado Avalanche, who have won three in a row and are also 8-1-and-1 in their last ten.

The NHL’s top team, the Canucks, have 61 points on top of the Pacific Division, have won five in a row and are 7-2-and-1 in their last ten matches.

The Edmonton Oilers? Forget about it. They’re on a ten game winning streak while the team they’re tied with, the Kraken, have won nine in a row and are unbeaten in regulation in 13 consecutive games.

So when shall any of them meet yet again?

First of all, the Kraken wrap up their six-game road trip on Thursday in Edmonton, which will be Seattle’s third game in four nights after playing in Pittsburgh on Monday and against the New York Rangers on Tuesday. They don’t see any of these other current Western Conference powerhouses until late February. (host Vancouver on the 22nd).

After this difficult week and then what should be a tough challenge against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Climate Pledge Arena next Sunday, the Kraken have what many would consider an “easy” schedule to round out the month.

Yeah I know, “there is no easy night in the NHL”, but just to clarify the meaning in this case, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, and San Jose Sharks. Let’s just say it’s not the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Dallas Stars, and Carolina Hurricanes.

Some of that comes later.

Seattle takes ten days off because of the NHL All-Star weekend and their bye week back-to-back. No games for the Kraken between January 31st and February 9th. Talk about withdrawals.

It was coming out of that long break/vacation last season when Andre Burakovsky suffered his season-ending lower body injury in his very first shift.

The Hot 5

Outside of the one game hosting the Kraken this week, the Oilers don’t see any of the other aforementioned teams before March.

The Canucks have a cushion of a schedule through the end of this month before things heat up in February. They play three of these other beasts in close proximity in the middle of next month after a difficult road trip out east.

Then, in what might be the marquee match-up: the Jets and Av’s atop the Central. When and where?

Sorry to disappoint, but these two only meet one more time and that would be in Denver on April 13th.

Up until now, the Jets have dominated the head-to-head this season, winning 4-2 on December 7th in the Mile High City and then spanking the Av’s 6-2 just nine nights later in “the Peg”. This was apparently before Colorado really started getting its you-know-what together. Or maybe Winnipeg is just that good.

Obviously there are other challenges along the way for all of these clubs, but it’s remarkable how the schedule has shaken out in terms of head-to-heads.

Yeah I know Kraken, one game at a time.

ICYMI:

— Kraken Extend Record Win Streak; Beat Blue Jackets 7-4

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.
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