Wild Fleury, Kraken Daccord

Kraken Game Day 57: Huge One Vs. Wild At Climate Pledge Arena

Kraken Game Facts

This Evening: Minnesota Wild at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: 7:00 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Root Sports / FM 93.3

Key Factors:

Starting goalies: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Joey Daccord

Seattle will wear their Winter Classic jerseys on Saturday night for the first time since their 3-0 outdoor victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on New Year’s Day.

The Kraken should have a couple of small advantages entering action tonight against Minnesota. The Wild played last night in Edmonton, beating the Oilers 4-2 before hopping the postgame charter flight to Seattle.

Also, the Kraken are healthy and playing with renewed confidence, particularly after beating the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL’s top team, 5-2 on Thursday night.

Rookie D-man Ryker Evans and forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will be the Seattle scratches this evening, all seen skating well after the end of the team’s optional on-ice twirl Saturday morning.

The Wild hopped one point ahead of the Kraken in the Western Conference wild card chase with the victory against the Oilers Friday night. Minnesota has played one more game than Seattle.

Both teams will enter the game knowing the St. Louis Blues, presently tied for the 2nd wild card spot, already lost to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday afternoon.

The Nashville Predators, officially in that 2nd spot due to tie-breakers, play in San Jose tonight and would be favored to beat the Sharks. Should that happen, a Wild win would keep Minnesota two points back while a Kraken win would keep Seattle three points out.

The Wild have been playing strong hockey the last three weeks despite not having their captain and best defenseman Jared Spurgeon, big veteran D-man Zach Bogosian, and burly forwards Marcus Foligno and Pat Maroon.

The Wild beat the Kraken 3-0 at Climate Pledge on December 10th. They wrap up the season series on April 18th in St. Paul, the last regular season game on Seattle’s schedule.

Who’s Hot? And Not?

Wild top line winger Matt Boldy is on fire. He has eight points, four of them goals, over his last five games, and a whopping 13 points over his last seven games.

His center Joel Eriksson Ek has 14 points over his last seven games, six of them against Vancouver in a 10-7 win five nights ago, and 25 points over his last 15 games.

Left winger Kirill Kaprizov also had six points against the Canucks and is on a similar run.

Marcus Johansson had an assist Friday night, but the 2nd line winger has just two points over his last ten games, while his center Ryan Hartman has just four points over the same period.

Their right winger Mats Zuccarello actually has six points over his last three games, but four of them came on the power play against the Canucks on Monday night.

For Seattle, Jared McCann tallied four points against Vancouver two nights ago, giving him 23 points over his last 16 games and a career high tying six-game point streak.

Jordan Eberle posted three points vs. the Canucks and is now averaging a point-a-game for his last 15 played.

Fellow veteran winger Jaden Schwartz has just one point over his last eight games.

Special Teams

Minnesota went 0-for-4 on the power play last night in Edmonton while allowing the Oilers to go 2-for-2 on their man advantage. Edmonton didn’t score at even strength. The Wild PP clicks a solid 22.2% of the time on the season while the PK is successful a measly 73.7% of the time.

Thursday night the Kraken went 1-for-3 on the power play and held the Canucks to an 0-for-4. The season percentage on the PP is 21.6%. The penalty kill has gradually improved to a semi-decent 79.5%.

Coming In:

Wild: 27-24-and-6, in 6th place in the very tight Central Division with 60 points. Minnesota beat the Oilers 4-2 in Edmonton on Friday night.

Kraken: 24-21-and-11, in 5th place in the Pacific Division with 59 points. Seattle beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday night.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken’s Tomas Tatar Still Has A Lot To Offer

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.