After a thrilling 4-3 win on Kraken Day in front of their home fans, the Kraken hit the road for a five-game Eastern Conference road trip. The trip starts with a weekend back-to-back against the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, with Seattle looking to complete a season sweep of both teams.
Opponent Spotlight – Washington Captials
The Capitals are currently 8th place in the Eastern Conference, hanging onto the east’s final wild card spot. While there’s still a sizeable gap between the Caps and any team challenging them for a playoff spot, Washington has slowed down in the new year. The Captials are 9-12-2 in 2022 and haven’t strung more than two consecutive wins together since the calendar turned over.
The Caps’ powerplay has been uncharacteristically weak this season, converting at only a 17% rate, 25th in the NHL. One thing the Caps and Kraken have in common? Shot suppression. Both teams allow just under 29 shots on goal per game, ranking 2nd (Kraken) and 3rd (Caps) in the league.
- Lines build off each other – On Wednesday, the Kraken took over the game with a huge momentum swing in the second period. It was like a switched flipped as Seattle scored three goals in under three minutes to take the lead. Alex Wennberg credited that momentum to the fact that every line was building off the last line’s success. He said the great thing about that stretch was that the three goals came from three different lines. Any team that can roll four lines all playing with confidence is tough to beat.
- Power Kill – The Kraken’s new aggressive penalty kill has been wildly successful, with three shorthanded goals in the last two weeks. One might be tempted to not take as many risks facing a Capitals PP notorious for their ability to do damage in many ways. But as mentioned in the opponent spotlight, Washington’s powerplay hasn’t been the same this season. Staying aggressive and maintaining tight gaps should continue to work.
- Big names return – With Kole Lind being sent down to the AHL on Thursday, it’s likely that one or both of Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz will be back in the lineup tonight. The Kraken have sorely missed the pair of top-6 forwards and either of them have the potential to be the difference between a win and a loss.
Did You Know…
Did you know you can’t pick up the puck and throw it into the net? Chances are you probably did. But in a 2007 game, the Capitals’ Alexander Semin may have forgotten that section of the rulebook. During a scrum in front of the net, Semin picked up the loose puck with his glove and threw it at the net. The puck rang off the crossbar and play continued, as the officials probably couldn’t make sense of what had just happened. The goal wouldn’t have counted had it gone in and Semin should have been assessed a penalty for closing his hand on the puck. But credit to Semin for thinking outside the box and providing a wonderfully absurd moment in hockey history.
Also, did you know it’s my mom’s birthday today? Happy Birthday, Mom! Thanks for all the love and support. See you in chat on ECH Postgame Live!
ECH Postgame Live
Join us after the game for ECH Postgame Live! After every Kraken game this season, RJ and Dylan will do a live postgame show on the Emerald City Hockey YouTube Channel. ECH Postgame live will include a postgame wrap-up, analysis, and a live Q&A with viewers. Join the community of Kraken fans who tune in after the game to talk Kraken hockey!