Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.
Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.
Let’s dive into the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Are they any good?
Well, they did win the most recent two Stanley Cups. The Lightning have been at or near the top of the league standings for a solid 4 years now. They tied the record for most wins in a season with 62 in 2018-19 before winning these last two championships. At the moment they are 3rd in the Atlantic division with a 11-4-3 record.
The Lightning did lose some talent this offseason, most notably their entire third line of Yanni Gourde, Blake Coleman, and Barclay Goodrow. The main core of the teams remains the same, however, and Tampa is very much a threat to become the first team to win three straight Cups since the New York Islanders of the early 1980s.
Who should I look out for?
- Victor Hedman (#77, Defense) - Hedman is one of, if not the very best defensemen in the entire NHL. He has finished in the top-3 in Norris trophy (best defender award) voting in each of the last 5 seasons, winning it once. He also happened to take home the Conn Smythe trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP in 2020.
- Steven Stamkos (#91, Center) - The Lightning captain currently leads the team with 10 goals and 12 assists. He’s had injury issues throughout his career, but when healthy he can score goals as well as anyone in the league. The list of active players with multiple 50+ goal seasons under their belt is Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos and that’s it.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy (#88, Goalie) - The elite teams generally have an elite goaltender, and the Lightning are no different. Vasilevskiy has won more games than any goaltender over the past 5 seasons, and his 23 shutouts over that timeframe are second only to Marc-Andre Fleury. He pitched his first shutout of the year on Tuesday with a 34-save performance against the Flyers.
FINAL: @TBLightning 4️⃣ @NHLFlyers— Lightning Radio (@BoltsRadio) November 24, 2021
Check out some of Andrei Vasilevskiy's top saves in his first shutout of the season, as called by @DaveMishkin! #GoBolts #BringItToBroad #PHIvsTBL pic.twitter.com/lAUHsL2lfS
Any Seattle ties?
- The first former Kraken Alex Barré-Boulet is on a bit of a hot streak, scoring a goal in each of his last two games.
Odds & Ends
- Tampa will be without star forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point tonight. Both players are nursing significant injuries and aren’t expected to get back in action until around the new year.
- The Kraken selected Yanni Gourde from the Lightning in the expansion draft. Gourde was a key contributor to both of their Stanley Cup runs, and has been making his presence felt in Seattle early on this year where’s he has enjoyed the most ice-time of his career.
- Five of Tampa Bay’s seven losses have come at home this year
- Corey Perry made it all the way to the finals in two straight years — once with Dallas and once with Montreal. He ultimately lost both of those series to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This year he decided enough was enough and signed on with the team that has been standing in the way of his second career Stanley Cup. He notched his first goal as a member of the Lightning just this week.
Tonight’s game starts at 4pm PST at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The game will be broadcast on television on ROOT Sports NW for regional subscribers and on ESPN+ for out-of-market fans. You can also listen to the game on the radio on 950 KJR.