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Kraken vs. Kings PREVIEW: Looking to end homestand on a high note

Player Photography provided by @Jennthulhu_Photos on Instagram

The Need to Knows

  • The Time: 7pm PT
  • The Place: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
  • Place to Watch: ROOT Northwest, ESPN+, SportsNet+
  • Place to Listen: KJR 93.3-FM
  • An Opposing Viewpoint: Jewels from the Crown

Know Your Enemy

The Kings have been arguably the best team in the NHL this season. They won 11 consecutive road games to start the season, an NHL record. Though they’ve lost three games in a row, they’re still 16-6-4 this season. Cam Talbot, their goaltender, has been outstanding with a .927 save percentage this season.

The Kings are getting contributions from everyone it seems, including their old guys. Anze Kopitar, who has been with the Kings since the Eisenhower administration, leads the team in points, Drew Doughty is playing well, and guys like Adrian Kempe, Kevin Fialia, and Trevor Moore are also contributing in a big way.

Game Preview

First thing is that I wouldn’t expect any changes to the Kraken lineup right away despite recently acquiring Tomáš Tatar. I expect him to be scratched for a couple of weeks the same way the Kraken did after acquiring Eeli Tolvanen, who sat his first seven games after joining the Kraken before getting worked into the lineup. I don’t expect Tatar to be in the lineup right away.

I also don’t expect to see Shane Wright, even though he was called up and Tye Kartye was sent down. I believe this was a technicality and a salary cap move. Maybe we see Wright for one game, but if I was a betting man (and I very much am), I would bet that we will see Kartye tonight in the lineup against the Kings.

The Kraken have been playing much better as of late and the Kings are in a bit of a swoon, but I don’t think that’s terribly predictive. Even great teams (and it looks like the Kings are trying to gun for that status) have losing streaks. But the Kraken do have the talent and system to defeat anyone as long as they do two things:

  • Exert effort for 60 minutes
  • Don’t make any stupid mistakes for 60 minutes

Though that wasn’t present during the losing streak, it has shown up recently, and that’s the kind of play that got the Kraken into the postseason last year.

Interestingly, both HockeyViz and MoneyPuck put this game at a coinflip. The robots like Seattle’s underlying numbers.

Why not end the 6-game homestand with a win? I think the Kraken should do that.

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