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Preview: Seattle Kraken come to Toronto

Gio and Järny play their old expansion team

Toronto Maple Leafs play the Seattle Kraken
TORONTO, ON- MARCH 8 - Human Octopus, Seattle Kraken defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (55) and Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Nicholas Robertson (89) collide as the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Seattle Kraken at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. March 8, 2022.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Seattle Kraken @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TVAS, SNO, ROOT-NW

Opponent’s Site: Davy Jones Locker Room

The Leafs last game was at home on January 3 against the St. Louis Blues, which Toronto lost by a score of 6-5. The Leafs have a record of 23-8-7 so far.

The Seattle Kraken last played an away game on January 3 against the Edmonton Oilers. The Kraken won by a score of 5-2, and their current league record is 20-12-4.

The Kraken are on their way up for the first time as an expansion franchise, sitting second in the Pacific Division (on P%) with top-tier first round pick Matty Beniers leading the charge (maybe I should say wave?). They also have another top-tier first round pick, Shane Wright, helping Canada to the Gold Medal Game at the Men’s World Juniors.

Like most expansion teams, the Kraken are a collection of players more well-known from other teams. But while they did well in the expansion draft, they’ve added players in the last year to make themselves even better. Oliver Bjorkstrand, a first line-calibre winger and formerly Columbus’ best player, is on their third line opposite Eeli Tolvanen, Nashville’s former first round pick who was put on waivers. Tolvanen has two points in two games since joining the Kraken.

The Kraken’s forward lines are not strongly differentiated in terms of zone starts, except that Beniers’ first line is used more in both zones and Donato’s fourth line is used less in both. Shane Wright was leveraged only offensively (funny no one believed that when he was on the fourth line), but just didn’t fit with the usage of the team so they found a way to send him down for a while.

Being on the road, the Leafs should be able to send David Kämpf against Beniers’ most dangerous offensive line and take the matchups with the second and third lines instead.

Dave Hakstol is still Seattle’s head coach. He was Philadelphia’s head coach for four years before joining the Leafs as an assistant coach for two, now he’s been in Seattle for their two seasons.

Them

Toronto vs Seattle

Toronto Stat Seattle
Toronto Stat Seattle
69.7 - 3rd Points % - Ranking 61.1 - 11th
3.421 - 7th Goals/Game - Ranking 3.5 - 5th
2.605 - 5th Goals Against/Game - Ranking 3.222 - 18th
25.0 - 10th Power Play% - Ranking 21.3 - 19th
77.6 - 18th Penalty Kill% - Ranking 68.4 - 31st
10.8 - 7th Team Sh% - Ranking 11.7 - 2nd
0.909 - 9th Team Sv% - Ranking 0.885 - 29th
William Nylander - 22 Most Goals (NST) Jared McCann - 17
William Nylander - 45 Most Points (NST) Andre Burakovsky - 28
Michael Bunting - 46 Most PIM (NST) Carson Soucy - 37
Morgan Rielly - 22.74 TOI Leader (NST) Adam Larsson - 24.01

Lines

Last Game: (01/03) via Daily Faceoff

Andre Burakovsky - Matthew Beniers - Jordan Eberle
Jaden Schwartz - Alexander Wennberg - Jared McCann
Eeli Tolvanen - Yanni Gourde - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Brandon Tanev - Ryan Donato - Daniel Sprong

Adam Larsson - Vince Dunn
Jamie Oleksiak - Justin Schultz
Carson Soucy - William Borgen

Martin Jones - confirmed starter
Philipp Grubauer

Us

William Nylander missed practice yesterday for an illness/maintenance day, but will be in the lineup tonight in his regular position after taking part in this morning’s optional skate. The rest of the lineup is exactly the same, to no surprise.

Matt Murray will get the start tonight after Ilya Samsonov played against the Blues in the last game.

David Kämpf’s third line has scored 10 goals in their last 11 games heading into tonight, with Engvall leading the way with five goals in his last 10. Kämpf especially had two goals on 16 shots in seven games last playoffs.

Lines

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Calle Järnkrok - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Alex Kerfoot - David Kämpf - Pierre Engvall
Zach Aston-Reese - Pontus Holmberg - Dryden Hunt

Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren

Matt Murray - confirmed starter
Ilya Samsonov

The Game

Poll

Do you _like_ the Kraken?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Yeah!
    (44 votes)
  • 40%
    Yeah?
    (59 votes)
  • 29%
    Nah.
    (43 votes)
146 votes total Vote Now