That’s right. Although the Seattle Kraken only have one game remaining before the NHL All-Star break and their bye week, that match in San Jose comes in the middle of an eventful three days.
Any team that prematurely looks ahead to the beaches in Mexico and approaches their pre-break finale lackadaisically will regret it later. Two points with your mental toes in the sand mean as much as two points in April.
Kraken NHL Watch
Evening one of the three mini-nights has already concluded, with the Nashville Predators losing 4-3 in overtime in Ottawa to the Senators. The one point earned gives Smashville 54 on the season, just two ahead of the Kraken. The Predators are tied with the two Western Conference wild card teams, the LA Kings and St. Louis Blues, but those two teams have games-in-hand.
Western Conference wild card race following the one NHL game on Monday, January 29th: (GP = games played)
TEAM GP POINTS
KINGS 47 54 (wild card 1)
BLUES 48 54 (wild card 2)
PREDS 50 54
KRAKEN 49 52
YOTES 48 49
Two of these teams, including the Kraken, are playing in games on Tuesday night that they should win.
Always a dangerous concept, “should win”, especially when players might be looking ahead with a bit of mind drift. It’s why Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol brought up that very subject postgame on Sunday. The Kraken had a lead on an inferior opponent and took their foot off the accelerator, holding on to beat the Blue Jackets 4-2 with an empty-netter.
“We have to learn from the last 30 minutes of this hockey game,” he said. “It’s two nights in a row we’ve let the other team in. It cost us a point the other night (vs St. Louis). Tonight we had to dig in for the last four minutes of this hockey game and it shouldn’t be that way.”
He then brought up the game against the Sharks, a team tied with the fewest points in the NHL (30).
“We have to get our heads completely focused on that job and make sure we’re ready to go for a real competitive 60 minutes.”
The Blues will attempt to avoid those same pitfalls when they visit the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
Finally, the biggee on Wednesday night: That would be the Kings visiting the Predators head-to-head. The Kraken and the others in the race will hope for anything but a three point game.
Mini schedule … big results.
— Kraken Sudden Log Jam At Center; The Frenchman Sits?