Rest up: Kraken set to visit tenacious Hurricanes (AUDIO)

Seattle Kraken v Minnesota Wild

ST PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 03: Alex Wennberg #21 of the Seattle Kraken celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates in the third period at Xcel Energy Center on November 3, 2022 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Kraken defeated the Wild 4-0. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Coming off losses in four of the last five games, where the 82-game NHL season is a marathon and not a sprint, the Seattle Kraken could have practiced getting into North Carolina. It was on the schedule. 

Except, the problem: not a lot of options for ice time.

“I didn’t want to go to the rink at 1:45pm,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. 

“That’s not a good formula for success. That was the only ice time available to us, we didn’t think that was very intelligent for our group.” 

Practice, cancelled. Citing the routine and timing issues as a group, the Kraken will look to the sudden turn for a reload of energy in a 4pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network) puck drop at PNC Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes. A win guarantees a split of the four-game road trip, and the two-game series against the hard-checking and tenacious Hurricanes, who are 6-0-2 in the last eight games. 

“Tonight, we’re going to have to be really good with the puck,” said Hakstol. “This is a tight-spaces, good checking team. A little different than what we faced two nights ago. But they check very well.” 

The Kraken, looking to flush the memory of a 6-2 defeat on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, understand part of the battle will be won through the neutral zone. 

“You’re not going to get through the middle every time, clean against them,” said Hakstol. “You’ve got to make small shares, you’ve got to support the puck well, you’ve got to be ready to be confronted, and make good plays from there.”  

Martin Jones, 4-2-1 in seven career games in this matchup, will start in net against the Hurricanes and face young and rising talent Pyotr Kochetkov, who has shutouts in back-to-back games. 

The Kraken are expected to miss Justin Schultz, out for the second straight game due to an undisclosed ailment, along with Jamie Oleksiak, serving the final leg of his three-game suspension. 

The Kraken power play, needing a boost at a 1-for-16 stretch over the last five games, will be up against a Hurricanes penalty kill unit that hasn’t allowed a power play goal in four straight games. That’s sent the Kraken back to the drawing board. 

“It’s a good penalty kill for sure,” said Wennberg. 

“We have a few tricks up our sleeve that we’re going to use. I can’t tell them you guys, but we’ll see them.” 

Carolina allowing the fourth fewest goals per game and lowest shots on goal per game, is banged up with injuries with losses including goaltender Frederik Andersen, Max Pacioretty, and talented center Sebastian Aho. 




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