Coming right back to try it again, the Seattle Kraken aim for their first win out of the holiday break in the second of back-to-back games at home, hosting the Calgary Flames at Climate Pledge Arena, tonight at 7pm (950 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).
The game will reunite captain Mark Giordano with his former Flames teammates, and a team where he suited up since 2005-06.
“It’s about playing with so many of those guys for a long time and having great relationships,” said Giordano. “It’s going to be cool playing against them. I think we’re all competitive so we all want to do well against each other. I’m the same.”
Giordano suited up in a Kraken pre-season win at Calgary but will now face his former team for the first time, in a game that has meaning. The Kraken had a visit to Calgary postponed, slated for Dec. 23, which awaits rescheduling by the NHL due to COVID outbreaks that lengthened the league’s holiday break.
The Kraken, who took the morning off from any kind of skating activity, last night suffered a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Philadelphia Flyers, ending a ten day layoff. Calgary will suit up in their first game since going dark for an extended break, after Dec. 11 in a 4-2 loss to Boston. At one point, 19 players along with head coach Darryl Sutter were sidelined in COVID-19 protocol.
“It was 18 or 19 days, so the game won’t be perfect in terms of execution but we’re going to have to rely on making sure we (have) four lines, six D and good goaltending,” said Flames head coach Darryl Sutter.
Calgary is third in the Pacific Division and led by Johnny Gaudreau’s 20 goals and 30 points, while ranking second best in the NHL, allowing 2.2 goals per game.
With Philipp Grubauer handling the workload in last night’s overtime loss, the Kraken will start Chris Driedger in net for his first start since Dec. 18 in a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Jacob Markstrom will start, backed up on an emergency recall for Dustin Wolf – a former goaltending standout for the Everett Silvertips – as last season’s Western Hockey League Goaltender of the Year award recipient.
The Kraken are led by Jordan Eberle’s 21 points and tonight are slated to have defenseman Jamie Oleksiak playing in the 400thgame of his NHL career.
The Kraken lineup remains fluid, however, with head coach Dave Hakstol confirming a few health obstacles which will dictate decisions on who will play tonight.
“We have some health items to evaluate and we’ll set the lineup later tonight,” said Hakstol.
Goaltender Joey Daccord and forward Kole Lind are on the Kraken taxi squad.