Morning Skate: Kraken vs. Flyers tonight, we have an Adam Larsson sighting

Winnipeg Jets v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 09: Adam Larsson #6 of the Seattle Kraken warms up before the game against the Winnipeg Jets at Climate Pledge Arena on December 09, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

This morning, Mike Benton was joined by TV voice John Forslund and Flyers radio voice Tim Saunders to set up the Wednesday night matchup in Seattle in an all new Kraken This Morning podcast.

The Seattle Kraken will finally end a ten day layoff between games, looking to start the first stretch of scheduling after the holiday break with a winning note as they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night at Climate Pledge Arena (7pm / 950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network)

With uncertainty hovering over the lineup in their first practice after the break on Sunday, the Kraken have slowly become a healthier squad, and possibly with options on defense. They only had four healthy blueliners on Dec. 26. They got Jamie Oleksiak and Carson Soucy back yesterday.

Now it appears defenseman Adam Larsson is on the brink, originally sidelined in COVID-19 protocol on Dec. 20. But after the NHL scaled back COVID-19 isolation periods to five days with a negative test result (previously at ten days), Larsson was seen on the ice Wednesday morning during an optional skate involving 17 players.

“No decision there yet in terms of his availability yet,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “Just one step at a time, that’s new information for all of us. It’s nice to see him here at the rink.”

“He’s coming out of fairly extensive protocol so we’ll take a look at everything here and see what makes the most sense for Lars and for our team through the day.”

Larsson, who said he “didn’t have many symptoms” aside from a headache, said he was “lucky” to purchase a Peloton stationary bike a week before he entered protocols.

“I sat on that for a couple days,” said Larsson. “Puck touches are something you might be missing a little bit, but after ten minutes it felt like it was coming back.”

“I feel ready.”

Philipp Grubauer will start in net for the Kraken, who is looking for a bounce back result after he started in a 6-1 defeat in Philadelphia on October 18. The Kraken are also projected to have Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell return to the lineup, both missing from game action since early December after being sidelined in protocols.

Gourde, with 16 points in 22 games, last appeared on Dec. 9 in a loss to Winnipeg and Blackwell was last seen when he scored a goal in a Dec. 3 win against Edmonton.

The Flyers, making their first trip to Seattle, are back to play after a ten day layoff with a pair of postponed games in between (Washington and Pittsburgh). Under interim head coach Mike Yeo, the Flyers are 4-1 in their last five games and are led by Claude Giroux’s 25 points. Cam Atkinson leads Philadelphia with 12 goals.

The Flyers are missing Carter Hart, Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, Derick Brassard, and Scott Laughton, sidelined in protocol.

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