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Kraken vs Sharks Part II: Back to the high seas

A kraken could absolutely take a shark, in the ocean or on ice

Seattle Kraken v San Jose Sharks Photo by Amanda Cain/NHLI

What: San Jose Sharks at Seattle Kraken

Where: Climate Pledge Arena

When: Thursday, January 20, 2022; 7:00pm PST

Wait, who are we playing? Landlubber’s Guide to the San Jose Sharks

Coverage

Local TV: ROOT Sports NW

Streaming: ESPN+

Local Radio: 950 AM KJR

SiriusXM: Channel 219

Last Time Out

The Kraken defeated the Sharks in their previous meeting one month ago by a score of 3-1. Seattle had a 2-0 lead in this one and did give up a late goal, but they shut it down after that and added an empty netter just before the final horn. Chris Driedger was in net last time, but it was Adam Larsson who came up with the biggest save in this contest:

There weren’t a lot of whistles the last time these teams played either. Only one penalty was called between the two teams — a Vince Dunn holding penalty — and there was even a 12 minute stretch without a single stoppage in play.

The Kraken were without Yanni Gourde in that game as well, so they’ll be glad to have him in the lineup this time. Ryan Donato (so hot right now) had a goal last time out, as did Brandon Tanev [sobs uncontrollably], and Calle Järnkrok tallied the empty netter (despite the best efforts of Chris Driedger).

Stats, Streaks, & Droughts

Timo Meier is a problem. This man is coming in fresh off of a game in which he score FIVE (5) goals. He’s now 8th in the NHL in both goals and total points and on pace to top 100 points this season, which would blow his career-high 66 points set in 2018-19 out of the water.

The Sharks, like the rest of the California teams, have been better than expected this year so far. They currently sit 4th in the Pacific division and have a loose hold on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They’ve been buoyed by a phenomenal record in overtime games. So far this year, the Sharks have had 9 games take more than 60 minutes to declare a winner. Two of those went to shootout (with San Jose winning one and losing one) and of the 7 that ended in 3-on-3 overtime, the Sharks won 6. It would be prudent for Seattle, who has yet to win a game in overtime (though looked very good in their last OT outing) to finish this one in three periods.

Injuries, Illnesses, Additions, & Scratches

Seattle will be without Chris Driedger this time around, as he remains in the league’s Covid protocol until at least Friday. Joey Daccord finally found a plane out of Charlotte and will be the backup to Philipp Grubauer. Seattle plays again tomorrow night against St. Louis, so Daccord may still get a start if Driedger isn’t available.

Jamie Oleksiak is also questionable for this one, as he missed Wednesday’s practice with a non-Covid illness, per head coach Dave Hakstol. Will Borgen skated with Mark Giordano in practice, and it appears as though he and Jeremy Lauzon will get the nods tonight while Haydn Fleury will be the odd man out no the blue line. We’ll update closer to game time as we know more.

Morgan Geekie returned to practice yesterday and donned a full contact practice jersey at the morning skate. He ha a chance to make it into the lineup tonight, but is far from a sure thing at the moment.

Newcomer Karson Kuhlman will see his first action in a Kraken sweater tonight. The speedy 26-year old forward will likely play a bottom-six role and should get some time killing penalties as well.

Odds & Ends

  • The Sharks’ power play is 22nd in the NHL right now, at 17.8%. Their penalty kill is 8th in the league, at 83%.
  • San Jose goaltender James Reimer is sporting a .918 save percentage, his best mark in five years and good enough to be tied for 12th in the NHL.
  • Defensemen Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns have a combined 53 points on the year. They also combine to be 68 years old.
  • Seattle is undefeated since adopting a team dog.
  • If you’re heading to the game, remember to get there early to catch the new in-game presentation at Climate Pledge, because it’s pretty freaking sweet.