The Seattle Kraken have never beaten the Vancouver Canucks in a regular season game. 0-for-5 and counting since joining the NHL last season.
Do the BC Boys take the rivalry more seriously, do some of the Canucks players or most of them as a collective simply have that intangible, indescribable feeling of positivity and invincibility when they see the Kraken sweaters, or is it just a matter of match-ups?
During their 5-4 victory in October at Climate Pledge Arena, Tanner Pearson and J.T. Miller went out of their way to start fights in the first four minutes of the game. It set the tone for the evening and kept the road team engaged and involved.
Maybe we’ll see something like that again. Whatever it takes from the Vancouver perspective because at this point in the season the Canucks can’t afford to not make it 6-and-0 against their regional rival. The Kraken are already ten points ahead of the Canucks in the Pacific Division standings.
Maybe we’ll see some killer instinct from Seattle. That might determine the result.
North Vancouver native Martin Jones gets his second straight start in net tonight for the Kraken in front of family and friends while Spencer Martin mans the crease for the Canucks. Jones is 10-4-and-1 in his NHL career against his hometown team with a .931 save percentage.
Coming off illness, Vancouver leading scorer Elias Pettersson appears ready to return for the Canucks after sitting out the last two games. Tough luck for the Kraken who were fortunate to play and beat a St. Louis Blues team on Tuesday night that was without red hot leading scorer Jordan Kyrou.
“We’re glad to have him potentially back for tonight, and I think for sure tomorrow night (in Edmonton), so it gets your team a little bit more complete,” Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said after morning skate.
These were the Canucks lines at morning skate Thursday as reported by Vancouver’s radio guy Brendan Batchelor.
Ilya Mikheyev – Bo Horvat – Conor Garland
Dakota Joshua – J.T. Miller – Brock Boeser
Lane Pederson – Elias Pettersson – Andrei Kuzmenko
Sheldon Dries – Nils Aman – Curtis Lazar
Extra: Jack Studnicka
Quinn Hughes – Luke Schenn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Tyler Myers
Riley Stillman – Kyle Burroughs
The Kraken will feature the same line-up from Tuesday night’s home win, as noted by TV producer Scott Malone.
Jared McCann – Matty Beniers – Jordan Eberle
Jaden Schwartz – Alex Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Ryan Donato – Yanni Gourde – Andre Burakovsky
Brandon Tanev – Morgan Geekie – Daniel Sprong
Vince Dunn – Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak – Justin Schultz
Carson Soucy – Will Borgen
“I’m not really worried about it being the last game before the break, it’s a really important two points against a divisional opponent, so we’re ready to go,” Kraken Head Coach Dave Hakstol said Thursday.
This is the final game for the Kraken before the NHL Christmas break. They host the Calgary Flames on December 28th. The Canucks play the Oilers in Edmonton Friday night and then break before hosting the San Jose Sharks on the 27th.
((in a rare moment of duplication, this same story can also be found at seattlehockeyinsider.com))