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Post-Game Instant Analysis: Calgary at Seattle

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

Here's a look at our data-driven Instant Analysis from Sportlogiq (click HERE for how to read this graphic):

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Final Buzzer: Margin Call

Kraken score first, then slip to 3-1 deficit end of first period. Seattle cuts lead to one-goal late but Flames get it back to two-goal cushion within 64 seconds in eventual 5-2 final

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

The Kraken kept the game close after a Calgary three-goal outburst in the first period staked a 3-1 lead in the first of back-to-back weekend games here at Climate Pledge Arena. The Friday faithful oohed and aahed throughout the second period, especially during the first of three power plays with a good handful of near-misses. 

Seattle couldn't get a second puck past Flames goalie Dan Vladar until the eleventh minute of the final period when Eeli Tolvanen scored his sixth goal for Seattle, taking a long-range rebound and quick-releasing it past Vladar. But the Flames responded 64 seconds later with the true dagger of the night when Noah Hanifin put his teammates back up by two goals. 

Video: CGY@SEA: Tolvanen trims Kraken's deficit in 3rd

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Chemistry Lessons for Kraken

It's easy to talk about team bonding but much harder to come by. For coach Dave Hakstol, he saw the mixture start in training camp and now progressing in five-game segments

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol approaches the long grind of an NHL regular season in five-game segments. Keep "winning" each segment (earning the majority of the 10 standings points available) and your team is trending in a positive direction. 

This particular form of hockey math calculates to promising numbers for the Kraken, who entered the weekend with 61 standings points, tied with Vegas, but get the first-place designation by having a higher points percentage (.649) due to playing two fewer games. To reach such a lofty status in season two is built on winning those five-game segments: To date, Seattle has "won" six such segments with point totals of 6, 8, 9, 6, 10 and 6. 

The Kraken have lost just two five-game packs, winning only once in the opening five games along with two overtime losses, to earn four of a possible 10 points. A mid-December stretch generated four points in five games, then five points (half) of the next available 10 in Games 31 through 35. Since then, the Kraken notched a perfect 10 of 10 and then six points as part of the recent franchise-record eight-game winning streak. Speaking of streaks, limiting any losing streaks to three games or less makes for winning segments. 

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McCormick Recalled from AHL

Captain and co-leading scorer for Coachella Valley Firebirds adds depth for Kraken weekend home games before break, Justin Schultz moved to injured reserve list

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

With back-to-back games before the All-Star break begins Sunday, the Kraken recalled forward Max McCormick Friday from American Hockey League affiliate Coachella Valley. McCormick, captain of the Firebirds, was named AHL Player of the Week last Monday for his stretch of four goals and four assists during three Coachella wins. 

In a corresponding move, defenseman Justin Schultz was placed on the injured reserve (IR) list. The summer free-agent signee has missed the last three Kraken games. 

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3 Game Essentials | Flames (23-17-9) at Kraken (28-14-5) | 7 p.m.

As All-Star break approaches, there remains important business of back-to-back home opportunities to build on first-place standing. Beniers not playing Friday or Saturday

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

Time: 7:00 p.m. PT | Watch: ROOT SPORTS | Listen: 93.3 KJR

 

One: Beniers Out of Lineup This Weekend

Kraken rookie center Matty Beniers did not participate in Friday's morning skate and will not play Friday and Saturday. He took a hard hit from Vancouver defenseman Tyler Myers during the second period of Wednesday's win over the Canucks. He did not return for the third period. Check back closer to game time on the Kraken app, website, and social channels to see how the Kraken coaching staff forms tonight's lines. 

 

Two: More January Juice

From the start of the New Year, the Kraken are leading the league in wins (10, tied), points (21), goals (55), and goals per game (4.23). They are one of only two teams (Edmonton) to be averaging four or more goals per game in 2023. 

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Wish Upon an Ice Rink

Right down to notching a 6-1 win over a division rival, the Kraken and Make-a-Wish Alaska & Washington skated a nine-year-old Jackson Boboth's hockey dream into reality

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

When Everett Boboth looked across the family dinner table one November night in 2020, his eyes focused on the complexions of sons Owen and Jackson. The boys are identical twins but at this meal, Owen's face was "pink and healthy while Jackson looked like a ghost next to him."

After dinner, Everett talked to his wife, Carrie, both agreeing Jackson's recurring lethargy and occasional cough over three weeks needed to be checked out. The next morning, Everett, an optometrist, called a friend and pediatrician in their town of Sunnyside in south-central Washington, between Yakima and the Tri-Cities. 

The friend and doctor said, "Forget your day, you and Jackson need to come in right away." Everett cancelled all of his patient appointments and Jackson underwent an exam and extensive blood tests. The pediatrician called the next morning, asking Everett and Carrie to come see him. 

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Post-Game Instant Analysis: Vancouver at Seattle

Kraken earn first franchise win over Canucks in convincing fashion, reclaim first in Pacific

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

The list of teams that the Kraken have never beaten is now down to three. Seattle welcomed the Canucks to town with a barrage of offense right from the first puck drop. They scored two goals in the first period, three goals in the second, and one in the third while allowing just one puck to get into their own net. There was a bit of late penalty trouble, but otherwise the Kraken played a dominant 60 minutes to win 6-1 over the visitors.

Let's look at the game "by the numbers."

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Final Buzzer: VAN-quished

Kraken jump to five-goal lead, skate off with lopsided victory over Canucks in return to first place in the Pacific Division

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

OK, Kraken fans, go ahead and make an emphatic check mark next to "Vancouver" on the Yet to Beat list for the Seattle franchise. Looking to finally get a win against the nearest Pacific Division rival Canucks in the seventh try, the Kraken outshot Vancouver 18-7 in the first period to stake a two-goal lead. The home squad scored thrice more in the second 20 minutes to ride the offensive wave to a 6-1 win. Martin Jones finished with 20 saves and now has 23 wins for Seattle. He is 15-2-1 in his last 18 games. 

"I said before the game the results from last year [losing four times to Vancouver] means nothing to this group," said Hakstol to a crowded post-game scrum. "You know, maybe I overstated that a little bit. I mean, they're the nearest team. But the most important thing is this is game three this year and all we had to show for it was a point up in Vancouver [Dec. 22 shootout loss]. They're coming in here on a back-to-back. It was two points we had to have, and our guys played that way."

The Kraken improved to 28-14-5 to return to first place in the division, tied in points (61) with Vegas and ahead in points percentage at .649 to .622. Seattle has two games in hand on Vegas and four in hand on second-place Los Angeles (59 points). The Kraken have earned five of six possible points on the five-game homestand before the upcoming All-Star break.

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3 Game Essentials | Canucks (19-25-3) at Kraken (27-14-5) | 7 p.m.

Seattle injury list expands, creating opportunities and expectations for those Kraken stepping up into bigger roles. Canucks arrive with new head coach

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

Time: 7:00 p.m. PT | Watch: ROOT SPORTS | Listen: 93.3 KJR

 

One: Kraken Depth Put to the Test

After playing 14 games in 25 days, the Kraken welcomed the rare three days between games. Tuesday's practice was the only one at Kraken Community Iceplex for the entire month. With three games in the next four nights, there's one more push before the All-Star break that starts Sunday. Reviewing the Seattle injury list, that ASG week off will be timely too. 

Defenseman Justin Schultz has played a big role in the Kraken turnaround. But he's missed the last two games (with Will Borgen ably moving up to second pair and Cale Fleury just as effectively taking on third-pair minutes with Carson Soucy) and Dave Hakstol updated Schultz's status as "week-to-week," indicating he won't be available until at least the New York metro area/Philadelphia/Winnipeg road trip beginning Feb. 5. 

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Prospecting: AHL Rookies Trending Up for Firebirds

Defensemen Ryker Evans and Peetro Seppala, plus forwards Ville Petman and Tye Kartye, are learning to be North American pros and making big plays for Coachella Valley

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

As most American Hockey League teams reached the halfway mark of its 72-game regular season over a busy weekend, it's an opportune time to check in on the progress of four AHL rookies and Kraken prospects contributing to affiliate Coachella Valley's first-place standing in the Pacific Division and overall best record in the 32-team league.

The quartet of Ryker Evans, Ville Petman, Peetro Seppala, and Tye Kartye are all adjusting to the increased speed and physicality of the AHL while turning in productive seasons. Evans, a defenseman drafted 35th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, leads the Firebirds rookies in scoring with three goals and 20 assists. 

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