Kraken Bjorkstand, Sharks Couture

Kraken Game Day 50: Cautiously Optimistic In California

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Seattle Kraken at San Jose Sharks

Where: SAP Center

When: 7:30 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Root Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Expected starting goalies: Joey Daccord vs. Mackenzie Blackwood

The Kraken need these two points against the NHL’s 2nd-worst team in terms of winning percentage (.306). It won’t necessarily come easy as the Sharks had their hottest run of the season last week, winning three games in four nights against the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and New York Rangers. They came back down to Earth on Saturday by giving up five consecutive goals in a 5-2 loss to the Sabres.

Adding to their woes, the Sharks have five regulars on injured reserve.

The Kraken have faded with leads in their last two outings, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blues, followed by a narrowly held-on-to 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Assume nothing.

Seattle is in the thick of the Western Conference Wild Card race.

This is the final game for the Kraken prior to the NHL All-Star break and bye week, a stretch that lasts a grand total of ten days. Let’s hope they all remember to stretch their groins sufficiently when they return from the beach.

Who’s Hot? And Not?

For the Kraken, NHL All-Star Oliver Bjorkstrand has 11 points over his last 10 games, while coming off back-to-back two pointers.

Forward Jared McCann has eight points over his current six-game point streak. He has 13 points over his last nine games.

Despite Brandon Tanev’s goal on Sunday, Seattle’s 4th line has only been producing at a rate one would expect from a 4th line. Not much. Regardless of whom is at center, the Kraken aren’t enjoying the balanced output they enjoyed last season.

Although he’s only produced one point in four games since missing the rest of the season due to injury, the Sharks are always better when Logan Couture is in the line-up. Will he find his complete game on Tuesday night?

William Eklund had two assists in Saturday’s loss against the Sabres.

Tomas Hertl, the club’s NHL All-Star, leads the team with 34 points. He’s day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, didn’t practice on Monday, and hopes to play against Seattle.

2nd-line wing Anthony Duclair is pointless in five and has just three points over his last 14.

Special Teams

In their last game the Kraken went 2-for-3 on the man advantage against the Blue Jackets while the penalty kill held Columbus to an 0-for-2. The Seattle power play improved to 21.9% on the season while the PK nudged up to a still substandard 78.7%.

Both the Sharks and their opponent, the Sabres, went 0-for-2 on the power play on Saturday. Overall, San Jose ranks 22nd in the league with a 16.7% success rate. The penalty kill is equally abysmal at 72.7%.

Coming In:

Kraken: 21-18-and-10, in 5th place in the Pacific Division with 52 points, following their 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday evening.

Sharks: 13-32-and-4, in last place in the Pacific with 30 points, after their 5-2 loss at home to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken: The Big Impact Of A Tiny NHL Schedule

— Kraken Sudden Log Jam At Center; The Frenchman Sits?

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.