"It's a measuring stick for us," said forward Yanni Gourde ahead of the Seattle Kraken game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gourde won two consecutive Stanley Cup titles with the Lightning before Seattle selected him in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
"They have a very talented team, as everybody knows .. it's gonna be fun. It's a big challenge," Gourde told media ahead of tonight's game.
The Seattle Kraken are looking for their 17th win of the season in Tampa Bay tonight. The team continues their east coast raA win would place the Kraken within 10 wins of their 2021-2022 total wins. The newest NHL franchise got off to a rocky start, like almost every expansion team not named the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The PNW team won 16 games at Climate Pledge Arena all of last season and earned 27 wins altogether.
The Kraken are on track to beat that tally in their sophomore season. A win in Tampa Bay would get Seattle in position to begin their third winning streak of the season. Head coach Dave Hakstol and his roster won five games from October 29 to November 8 and seven games from November 17 to December 1.
In those stretches, the Kraken earned 11 wins against teams that reached the playoffs in 2022, including the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburg Penguins, Calgary Flames, and Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche.
As I discussed in today's episode on Locked on Kraken, there were a decent amount of roster moves ahead of tonight's game. Luckily, the Kraken will have defender Justin Schultz in the lineup after he took a big hit from Ryan Lomberg late in the 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers.
When asked about the hit, head coach Dave Hakstol said he hadn't heard of any suspension, but he didn't like the hit. "That's outside of my realm. So, if you're asking me if I liked the hit, I didn't like the hit. I thought it was cheap. I think it's crap, but (it's) not for me to look at," Hakstol said before puck drop.
Kraken defender Jamie Oleksiak is on game two of a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head on Capitals skater Alexander Alexeyev. As of Tuesday, the National Hockey League has not suspended Lomberg.