The Need to Knows
Time: 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET
The Place: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Where to Watch: ROOT Sports Northwest or ESPN+ for out-of-market fans
Where to Listen: KJR 93.3
An Opposing Viewpoint: Stanley Cup of Chowder
Know Your Enemy
As good as the vibes have been in Seattle, they’ve been even better in Boston. The Bruins have been far and away the NHL’s best team this season under new coach Jim Montgomery, who is the heavy favorite to win the Jack Adams award for the coach of the year. The Bruins are a staggering 32-4-4. Woof.
The Bruins are loaded with talent. Forward David Pastrnak has seven goals in his last four games. Brad Marchand is an elite defensive forward, second only to Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, whose genius hockey IQ makes him arguably the greatest defensive forward the game has ever seen. Defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm are excellent. The team is well-coached, and they have depth.
Oh, and goalie Linus Ullmark has been the best goalie this season.
What’s not elite is their goal song, which is Kernkraft 400 by Zombie Nation. If you don’t recognize the name immediately, you’ve probably heard it if you’ve been to a sporting event at any point in the last 20 years. It’s hard to get less original than using a Jock Jam as your goal song.
One interesting side note about Patrice Bergeron: he is who Shane Wright has modeled his game after, and that was a common comparison around the time of the draft. If Shane Wright becomes as good as Bergeron, Kraken fans will be doing backflips. If you want to see what Wright wants his final form could be, observe #37 for Boston.
The Leafs game was their second-toughest stop this road trip, and they won that game handily. The Kraken do seem to struggle against elite talent the first time seeing them, and the Bruins are the kind of team that can snowball a bad game into an ugly score.
But Seattle hasn’t lost since the 7-2 Oilers blowout on December 30th and have been rolling teams. Both Jones and Grubauer have played well, the penalty kill is improving, the Sprongs are spronging, and the vibes are good in Seattle.
I don’t expect a win, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened. The Kraken can beat anyone if they play their A-game. Regardless of the outcome, this has been a resoundingly successful road trip, winning the first 5 of their 7 games. Even if they drop the game against Boston and Chicago before coming home, the Kraken did what they set out to do.