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 in to the Arizona Coyotes.
Are they any good?
Short answer: no, they are not any good. Like at all. They are the only team in the NHL that has still yet to win a game this season. The 11-game winless streak is tied for their franchise worst to open a season (they also lost their first 11 in 2017-18) and with one more loss would give them sole possession of 2nd place all-time, with only the 1943-44 Rangers losing more to start a year.
The good news for Coyotes fans is that nobody in that front office believed they were going to compete this year anyway. They’re in full rebuild mode — this offseason alone they acquired 2 first-round draft picks, 5 second-round picks, and 2 third-round picks in exchange for basically taking on big contracts that other teams couldn’t afford anymore. They have leaned into the rebuild about as much as humanly possible, and on some level you’ve got to respect it.
Who should I look out for?
- Clayton Keller (Right Wing, #9) - Keller might be the team’s last really good NHL asset that they haven’t traded away yet. He leads the team in goal scoring (with 3 goals) and has been a consistent contributor for the team for each of his first four seasons in the league.
- Phil Kessel (Right Wing, #81) - Kessel is getting up there in hockey years (he turned 34 last month) but he’s still an offensive threat on the ice. He scored at least 20 goals in 13 of his last 14 seasons, a span in which he played for 4 different teams.
- Jakob Chychrun (Defense, #6) - Chychrun (pronounced ‘chick-rin’) appears to be the only untouchable player on the roster. The 23-year old is the core defender that the Coyotes want to build their future around, and for good reason. Just look at this shot.
Any Seattle ties?
Nothing really close as far as I can tell. They did call up defenseman Dysin Mayo this year, who has now played his first 6 NHL games with the Coyotes. Mayo played for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings and met the Portland Winterhawks in two straight finals in 2013 and 2014.
Odds and Ends
- Phil Kessel loves hot dogs. Well, he might love hot dogs.
- The Coyotes brought back their original jerseys in full this year. The kachina logo and style has been clamored for by fans in the years since it disappeared in 2003, and for good reason: it rules.
- Seattle’s expansion pick from the Coyotes was forward Tyler Pitlick, who was traded a day later to the Calgary Flames for a 4th round pick in what could be considered the only “side-deal” of the expansion draft. So no revenge game for Seattle tonight, but perhaps a revenge game for one Arizona player:
- Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere spent his first three seasons being coached by Seattle’s own Dave Hakstol during their time in Philadelphia. Hakstol left Gostisbehere as a healthy scratch several times in the year following a breakout rookie season, which rubbed many Flyers fans the wrong way.
- Arizona hold the league’s worst penalty kill rate this year at 63.9%. A prime opportunity for Seattle to get their power play back on track if I’ve ever seen one.
Tonight’s game starts at 7pm PT at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Regional fans can watch on ROOT Sports NW, out of market fans can stream the game on ESPN+