It seems like every day creates more questions than answers lately. Today, though, there’s some comfort in routine.
The Kraken are scheduled to play the Flyers at Climate Pledge Arena, and by all accounts, it might actually happen. The Kraken have had their last three games postponed and one in January already announced as the league has struggled to deal with the most recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Seattle has three players in protocol — Ryan Donato, Vince Dunn, and Mason Appleton — but three have recently returned, including Adam Larsson, who skated this morning but is still a question mark for tonight.
“No decision there yet in terms of his availability for tonight,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. “Just one step at a time, that’s the information for all of us right now. It’s nice to see him at the rink, obviously he’s coming out of fairly intensive protocol, so we’ll take a look at everything and see what makes sense for Larsson and our team throughout the day.”
Larsson, who entered protocol last Monday, said he didn’t feel many COVID symptoms other than a headache for a couple of days and “I feel fine and I feel ready to go.”
Jamie Oleksiak and Carson Soucy will also be back after spending the holiday break in protocol — Oleksiak missed one game vs. Edmonton on Dec. 18 — while Yanni Gourde, Riley Sheahan, and Colin Blackwell also exited protocol after missing some time.
Brandon Tanev is out for the season with a torn ACL sustained in that Edmonton game, so the Kraken will play without one of their energy leaders for the first time.
The look is different for the Kraken, and the feel is different in a world where yes might mean no two minutes later. But as of now there’s going to be a hockey game and that’s all anyone there can ask for in this tumultuous COVID-riddled season.
“We’ve really worked to just focus on our group, there’s been changes to everybody’s rosters and lineups on a day-to-day basis,” said Hakstol. “So the general preparation is very much the same as we get to game time tonight.”
Projected Kraken lines
Based on Tuesday’s practice:
Jaden Schwartz – Jared McCann – Jordan Eberle
Calle Jarnkrok – Yanni Gourde – Colin Blackwell
Marcus Johansson – Alexander Wennberg – Joonas Donskoi
Max McCormick – Riley Sheahan – Morgan Geekie
Jamie Oleksiak – Mark Giordano
Carson Soucy – Jeremy Lauzon
Haydn Fleury – Will Borgen
- Jamie Oleksiak and Carson Soucy cleared COVID protocol on Tuesday and should be available to play.
- Adam Larsson was at the rink for the optional morning skate, but Hakstol wouldn’t commit to his availability for the game.
- Philipp Grubauer will start in net.
About the Flyers
This season: 12-12-5 (Last game: 4-3 win vs. Ottawa)
Player to watch: Joel Farabee
Notes: Flyers goalie and former Everett Silvertips star Carter Hart will miss his return to Washington in COVID protocol. … Sean Couturier, Derick Brassard, and Scott Laughton are also all in COVID protocol. … Joel Farabee, Kevin Hayes, and Morgan Frost just exited protocol and will be available for the Flyers.