The Seattle Kraken enjoyed a few days off and now face the Vancouver Canucks in their home opener.
The Kraken finished up a five-game road trip to start the season, going 1-3-1 in the process. After not playing since Tuesday, the team has gotten healthier in advance of the home opener. They’ll take on the rival Canucks, who are coming off a win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Vancouver previously dropped two straight contests and will be looking to put together a winning streak early in the season.
Kraken Injury/Roster Updates
Seattle’s banged-up forward group has had a chance to get a little bit healthier ahead of this matchup. Marcus Johansson remains out, but the team has seen Calle Jarnkrok and Colin Blackwell return to practice. Jarnkrok appears ready to appear in the lineup, but seeing both in practice is a good sign. As Jarnkrok was removed from the COVID protocol list, the team placed forward Alex Barre-Boulet back on waivers. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who originally let him go on waivers, picked the forward back up.
Morgan Geekie skated in a red non-contact jersey for the first time since leaving Tuesday’s matchup with the Devils. He centered the third line in Saturday’s morning skate and should be in the lineup. Goalie Chris Driedger, who was placed on Injured Reserve prior to Tuesday’s game, can’t play in this game but will be eligible to return starting next Tuesday when the Kraken host the Montreal Canadiens. Joey Daccord will remain with the Kraken to back up Philipp Grubauer.
Kraken Keys to the Game
The highly-touted defense for the Kraken hasn’t played to its full potential just yet. Seattle is allowing 3.8 goals per game, good for sixth-worst in the NHL. They are, however, doing a good job at suppressing shots against, letting up just 29 per game. Offensively, the Kraken needs to get more pucks to the opposing net. Seattle has a league-worst 26 shots on goal per game. Their 2.2 goals per game are tied for seventh-worst in the league, and will only improve with more offensive pressure. Seattle needs to focus on forcing its will offensively and setting up a structured offense in the opponent’s zone. An increase in shots and chances should improve the team’s meager offensive metrics so far this season.
Canucks Scouting Report
Vancouver remains a very top-heavy team, with most offense coming from the top-six forwards and top-pair defensemen. They have been slightly below average in both offense and defense through the first handful of games. Their 2.6 goals per game rank them 20th, while their 3 goals against ranks 22nd. They take over 35 shots on goals per game and allow nearly 33 on average. The Kraken will have to continue their strong shot prevention and work on attacking Vancouver offensively. Thatcher Demko has been strong in his four starts this season, putting up a 2.66 goals against average with a .922 save percentage. If he gets the nod against the Kraken, shot quantity will be crucial for success.
Opponent: Vancouver Canucks (2-2-1)
Date: October 23, 2021
Time: 7 PM PT / 10 PM EST
Where: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle
TV: ESPN+ / Hulu
Betting Odds: WynnBET
The Kraken vs Canucks betting odds on WynnBET has the Kraken as 1.5-point favorites at home. Seattle has -140 money line odds, while the Canucks are the underdog at +125. The total for the game is set at an over/under of 6.0 points.
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