Tonight in the first meeting of the season, the Seattle Kraken aim to take another first of franchise history: a win streak.
The Minnesota Wild stand in their way, always a sneaky-dangerous opponent, and health issues along with a Pacific Northwest tie in are in their tow for their first visit to Climate Pledge Arena, 7:00pm tonight along 950 KJR and the Kraken Audio Network.
The Kraken had another optional skate today, with nobody out to start the morning but goaltender Chris Driedger – who yesterday had his asterisk removed (indicating injured reserve) from his spot on the roster and has been seen skating. No announcement yet if he will be activated, or if it’s still Joey Daccord to suit up alongside Philipp Grubauer, but we’ll keep you posted.
·Ryan Donato, if he plays, is expected to face his former team after spending two seasons in a Minnesota jersey: along with a 14-goal season in 2019-20.
·The Kraken will have one lineup change per Dave Hakstol, with Mason Appleton out of commission for tonight and as of yesterday, reportedly will “miss some time” after his awkward fall on Tuesday on a holding penalty. Nathan Bastian will come back into the lineup for his seventh game of the season.
·The Minnesota Wild, last defeating the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, have won five of their first six games but are now experiencing COVID-19 issues similar to what engulfed the Kraken to begin the season. Three coaches out and not on the trip, while leading scorer Mats Zuccarello and Rem Pitlick have entered protocol and will not play.
·Three players are on the way for the Wild: Connor Dewar, Kyle Rau, and Jon Lizotte. If you’ve followed Puget Sound hockey for awhile, you may remember Dewar: the former Everett Silvertips captain, twice breaking the 30-goal barrier playing 30 miles up interstate-5, led the Tips to the Western Conference championship in 2017-18, months before the Wild drafted him. He’ll make his NHL debut tonight – a majestic homecoming of sorts with Everett fans and billet parents expected to be in attendance. Dewar said he’s also expecting the Silvertips coaching staff, led by Dennis Williams, to be in seats.
·Can Vince Dunn keep it up against a team he doesn’t mind playing? He’s got five assists in the last five games against the Wild.
YESTERDAY’S PRACTICE LINEUP (make of it as you will):
Schwartz - Gourde - Jarnkrok
Donskoi - Wennberg - Eberle
Tanev - McCann - Donato
Bastian - Sheahan - Geekie
Giordano - Oleksiak
Lauzon - Larsson
Fleury - Dunn
Soucy - Borgen
Coors Light Pre-game Show: 6:30pm from the Coors Light Landing, while Everett Fitzhugh and Dave Tomlinson take over for the call at 7:00 p.m.
·1stintermission guest: Ryan Donato