Maple Leafs Nylander, Kraken Bjorkstrand

Kraken Game Day 46: Wounded Seattle Hosts Flustered Toronto

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Toronto Maple Leafs at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 6 pm pacific

TV/Radio: ROOT Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Ilya Samsonov vs. Joey Daccord

The Kraken will present a makeshift line-up with an illness making its way through the team.

It appears Jared McCann will center Tomas Tatar and Jordan Eberle with the rest of the lines being a jumble. Devin Shore and Tye Kartye will both play center. Jaden Schwartz was back at the morning skate Sunday and working on the power play after missing practice on Saturday. Eberle and Kailer Yamamoto also sat out yesterday, with Yamamoto likely a Sunday scratch.

There could be a couple of other game-time decisions. It appears Vince Dunn might miss his fourth straight.

Centers Matty Beniers remains out due to injury while Yanni Gourde will sit out the first of two games due to NHL suspension.

Maple Leafs goalie Martin Jones apparently will not get to start in a Seattle homecoming game after losing in Vancouver 6-4 on Saturday night. ‘Jonesy’ went 27-13-and-3 for the Kraken last season.

Toronto is playing its third game in four nights, with Saturday’s tilt in Vancouver being highly intense with a lot of physicality. Although short some bodies, the Kraken should potentially hold a stamina advantage as the game wears on.

The Maple Leafs beat the Kraken 4-3 in a shoot-out in Toronto back on November 30th with Mitch Marner posting a hat trick and then the game winner in the post-overtime ‘skills competition’.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

William Nylander had two goals in Vancouver on Saturday, his second consecutive two point game. That, after going pointless in four. He signed an eight-year contract extension worth $11.5-million per season on January 8th. He’s tied for 5th in NHL scoring with 61 points.

Marner has a four-game point streak, while Auston Matthews has seven points over his last three games.

Toronto captain John Tavares is pointless in seven games, his longest skid in a dozen years since he played with the Islanders.

For the Kraken, Oliver Bjorkstrand is averaging a point-a-game for his last 15. McCann’s goal on Thursday gives him seven points over his last five games.

Tough to call out a Kraken ‘not hot’ at this point with a week of jumbled line-ups and tough travel.

Special Teams

Although they scored a shorthanded goal in Vancouver, special teams cost the Maple Leafs the game on Saturday afternoon. The Canucks scored two power play goals in the 3rd period to put the game away while Toronto went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

Overall the Maple Leafs are excellent on the PP at 25% for the season. They’re not so good on the PK, ranked 27th at 76%.

It was a similar story for the Kraken in their last game. They went 0-for-5 on the power play in Edmonton while giving up a 2-for-4 to the Oilers.

Overall, the Kraken are a solid 21.3% on the man advantage, while their penalty kill has steadily improved from the start of the season, slipping just a bit last week to 79.4%.

Coming In:

Maple Leafs: 22-14-and-8, in the 1st wild card position in the Eastern Conference, following Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Canucks.

Kraken: 19-17-and-9, tied for 5th place in the Pacific Division, following their 4-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday night.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken’s Missing Bodies Add Up; Maple Leafs In Tomorrow

— Seattle Kraken Defensemen Midterm Report Cards

— Your hot topics, like Gourde, Grubauer, losing streak, covered for a Sunday game day …

New “Simmer and Forslund” on Sunday.

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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