Thursday, February 22, 2024
Sportsbook Advisor

NHL Preview: Seattle Kraken (21-18-10) at San Jose Sharks (13-22-4)

SEATTLE KRAKEN NOTES:

CURRENT INJURIES – (MAN GAMES LOST: 118)

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (lower body; IR) – 16 games – week-to-week

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS

Jan. 29, 2024: Placed forward Devin Shore on waivers with the intent to reassign him to Coachella Valley (AHL)

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

• Tonight’s game is the final game the Kraken will play before the NHL All-Star Break. They will resume play on Feb. 10 against the Flyers in Philadelphia. • Seattle is 6-2-0 all-time against the San Jose Sharks since the start of the 2021-22 season. A win tonight would give the Kraken seven wins against a single opponent for the first time in franchise history. • The Kraken have scored 27 goals in all against the Sharks since the start of the 2021-22 season, which is tied for their seventhhighest total against any opponent. o The Kraken have a plus-10 goal differential against the Sharks, which is tied with Arizona for their third-best mark against any opponent, trailing only the Chicago Blackhawks (plus-15) and the Buffalo Sabres (plus-14). o Seattle has scored at least seven goals against the Sharks on two occasions – on Nov. 23, 2022 (eight) and on Nov. 22, 2023 (seven). • Seattle is six wins shy of recording its 100th win in franchise history. • Joey Daccord has started 11 of 12 games the Kraken have played in the month of January. Entering play Monday, no goaltender had started more games than Daccord this month. o His 11 starts are tied for the most by a Kraken goaltender in a single month. Martin Jones also started 11 games in January of 2023. • Despite only playing in 19 games with the Kraken this season, Tomas Tatar has already totaled 10 points (five goals, five assists) with Seattle – one more point than he had in 27 games with Colorado to start the season. o Tatar has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four games played. • Vince Dunn has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last 11 games played and was tied for ninth among all defensemen in scoring this season entering play Monday with 37 points (eight goals, 28 assists) this year. • With 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 48 games this season, rookie forward Tye Kartye is on pace to finish the year with 32 points. If the pace holds, he will become the first undrafted player to have at least 30 points their rookie season since Tanner Jeannot had 41 points (24 goals, 17 assists) for the Nashville Predators in 2021-22.

SHARK TANK

• Oliver Bjorkstrand has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his last nine games against San Jose, which includes matching a franchise record for points in a game with four (one goal, three assists) in the two teams’ last meeting on Nov. 22. o He has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games against the Sharks as a member of the Kraken. • Philipp Grubauer owns a 10-4-1 career record against the Sharks with a .925 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average. His 10 wins are his second-most against a single opponent. • Yanni Gourde (two goals, three assists), Jared McCann (one goal, four assists) and Eeli Tolvanen (three goals, two assists) all have five points in their last five games against the Sharks. • Kailer Yamamoto has five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five games against San Jose

KRAKEN’S RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OT (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]

1-10: 3-5-2 (8), 24/33, 7/28, 20/26

11-20: 4-3-3 (11), 29/37, 8/33, 24/35

21-30: 2-6-2 (6), 24/28, 4/33, 22/24

31-40: 8-0-2 (16), 33/15, 5/21, 26/29

41-50: 4-4-1 (9), 29/28, 6/22, 14/22

SAN JOSE SHARKS NOTES:

THE SHAK ATTACK Shakir

Mukhamadullin made his NHL debut on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. He logged three shots on goal, one hit, one takeaway, and two blocked shots in 19:21 time on ice. In 39 games with the Barracuda this year (AHL), he led all ‘Cuda defensemen in assists (21) and among AHL defensemen he ranked tied for 10th in points with 26 (5 goals, 21 assists) before his call-up. Mukhamadullin was the second defensemen to make his NHL debut with the Sharks this season, joining Ty Emberson on Oct. 21 at Nashville. Mukhamadullin, 22, was acquired alongside F Fabian Zetterlund, D Nikita Okhotiuk, a 2023 first-round pick (F Quentin Musty), a conditional 2024 first-round pick and F Andreas Johnsson in the midseason 2023 trade that sent forward Timo Meier to New Jersey. He is the fourth player from that trade to go on to skate with the Sharks thus far.

RETURN OF THE CAP

Logan Couture made his long-awaited season debut on Jan. 20 against Anaheim. He logged an assist on the Sharks’ first goal of the game and finished the contest with 15:49 time on ice. The Sharks captain, who now has 31 points (10g, 21a) in his past 36 games played entering Jan. 30 against Seattle, registered 20:50 TOI in his second game back in the lineup, making his impact with the game-deciding goal in the shootout victory. Couture, who missed the first 45 games of the season due to a lower body injury, had not competed in game action since April 13, 2023. In 931 career games, Couture has posted 701 points (323 goals, 378 assists), most recently leading San Jose forwards with 67 points (27g, 40a) last season. The three-time NHL All-Star Game selection appeared in all 82 games last season and became the third player in Sharks history with 10 or more 20-goal seasons with his 27-marker effort in the 22-23 campaign.

HERT SO GOOD

Forward Tomáš Hertl, the Sharks’ representative at the 2024 Honda NHL All-Star Game – his second career All-Star Game appearance – was the first San Jose skater to reach 30 points on the year, tying Brent Burns with nine 30-point seasons in teal, fifth-most in team history. He entered 2024 following the best goal-scoring month of his career, his nine lamp-lighters besting his previous high of eight, which he previously hit four times (in 13 games in October 2013, 15 games in December 2018, 11 games in January 2019 and 10 games in December 2021). He earned NHL Second Star of the Week honors on Dec. 11 after posting six points (5g, 1a) in three games from Dec. 3-10, helping the Sharks to a 2-1-1 record in concluding a six-game road trip. Hertl paces the club in points (34) and goals (15) and is atop the roster with nine multi-point games on the campaign. His run of three goals on Dec. 5 followed by two on Dec. 7 represented just the second time in his career that he recorded consecutive multi-goal outings, last scoring six goals over two games in his second and third career contests. Hertl has 22 points (11g, 11a) in the past 29 games entering Jan. 30 vs. Seattle, dating back to consecutive two-assist efforts (Nov. 24 and 25), when he passed Owen Nolan for sixth on the Sharks’ all-time multi-point games list (110). Earlier this season he also passed Nolan (206) for sole possession of fifth on the Sharks’ all-time goals list and for sixth (Nolan – 451) on the team’s all-time points list. He is one game-winning goal shy from tying Jonathan Cheechoo (36) for fifth on the team’s all-time GWG list. Hertl became the seventh player to appear in 700 games as a Shark when he laced up on Dec. 31 at Colorado, joining Patrick Marleau (1,607), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1,257), Joe Thornton (1,104), Joe Pavelski (963), Logan Couture (927) and Brent Burns (798).

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

The Sharks are 11-9-2 this season when three out of the four centers on the planned depth chart (Logan Couture, Tomáš Hertl, Mikael Granlund, Nico Sturm) are in the lineup. San Jose has yet to play a game this season with all four in the lineup. Couture’s impact has been felt since his return, logging his first assist of the season in his first game back (Jan. 20 vs. ANA) and posting the game-deciding goal in a shootout in the following game against the Los Angeles Kings (Jan. 22). The Sharks’ centermen lead the team in numerous categories, Hertl in scoring with 15 goals, Granlund in assists with 24 and Sturm in faceoff win percentage with 61.3% (min. 100 faceoffs).

YOU ZETTER BELIEVE IT

Forward Fabian Zetterlund is enjoying a career year on the offensive end, adding goals in back-to-back contests Jan. 20 and 22 to push his total to a careerbest 14, ranks second behind Tomáš Hertl. He currently sits just two points shy of his career high of 23, set in 67 games last season. Zetterlund joined Hertl as the lone Sharks to reach double-digit goal totals on the year with his 10th of the campaign, coming Dec. 27. The Swedish forward found the back of the net in consecutive contests (Dec. 23 and 27) and has tallied five points in his last 10 games (3g, 2a) entering Jan. 30 vs. Seattle, including a mult-point effort (1g, 1a) on Jan 20. against Anaheim.

ON AGAIN, HOFF AGAIN

Forward Mike Hoffman has been a consistent contributor on the offensive end of late, the veteran forward posted an assist in four consecutive games played from Jan. 13-22. It was his longest point streak of the season and most extended run of helpers since registering assists in four consecutive games, Jan. 16- 21, 2020 (0g, 5a) as a member of the Florida Panthers. The 34-year-old winger is tied for third on the roster with eight goals entering Jan. 30 vs. Seattle and leads all Sharks forwards in assists with five in the month of January.

GOOD KAAP

Goaltender Kaapo Kähkönen closed out 2023 on a high note, posting a .914 Save Percentage and 2.96 Goals Against Average in nine December appearances, going 3-4-1 in the calendar month. In his most recent outing, the Finnish netminder posted his third 40-save effort of the season, helping the Sharks earn a road win at Los Angeles (Jan. 22). Since the team’s first win of the season on Nov. 7, Kähkönen has taken over the Sharks lead in SVP (.901) and GAA (3.59), including three 44-save performances (Nov. 16 vs. STL, Dec. 1 at NJD and Jan. 22 at LAK), and 10 games with save percentages of .909 or better. On home ice in that span, Kähkönen has gone 2-3-0 in six appearances with a 2.85 GAA and .920 SVP.

DEFENSE TO OFFENSE

Three of the Sharks defensemen – Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kyle Burroughs and Jan Rutta, found the back of the net in the 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Jan 20. It was the eighth time in Sharks history that three defensemen scored in the same game and the first since Dec. 23, 2013 (B. Burns, J. Demers, M. Irwin). Burroughs’ and Rutta’s strikes were their first with the Sharks, with Rutta’s going down as the game-winning goal, the second of his career and first since Jan. 12, 2018. Vlasic has netted his first three goals of the season in his last seven games played (3g, 0a) entering Jan. 30 vs. Seattle and leads Sharks defensemen in goals in the month of January. Rutta enters the contest against Seattle with a career-long four-game point streak (2g, 3a). Mario Ferraro leads Sharks defensemen in points this campaign with 14 (1g, 13a)

STARTING THE SECOND HALF The Sharks saw a difficult close to the first half of the season, a season-long 12-game losing skid punctuating the season’s first 41-game segment. In game No. 42, San Jose earned a road win at Montreal on Jan. 11, 3-2, to start the second half with a victory and after an overtime victory over New York on Jan. 23 at SAP Center to boast a record of 4-3-1 on the back end. The Sharks won three consecutive games for the first time this year before their defeat against Buffalo on Jan. 27. San Jose is 3-0 in games decided in overtime. The first half was marked by the NHL’s most difficult schedule, a 41-game slate that included four games against Vancouver, three games each against Vegas and Colorado, twice facing Boston, Carolina, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Florida and Toronto. Per The Athletic, entering San Jose’s Jan. 11 win over Montreal, the Sharks had faced an average opponent quality of 98 points (metric defined by the media outlet) – the highest in the league, with 25 games against teams projected to reach the 100-point mark on the year. In the second half, the club’s opponent point projection was 87, the lowest in the NHL.

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