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Canadiens @ Kraken: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

The Habs need to bring their best effort if they want a winning record from this road trip.

Montreal Canadiens v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens @ Seattle Kraken

How to watch

Start time: **10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST**
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Kraken region: Root Sports Northwest

If you turned off last night’s game at the first intermission with Montreal up 4-0, you were probably surprised to see the final result, with another nine goals scored over the next 40-plus minutes. It turned out the Canadiens didn’t learn their lesson from the opening eight minutes when they were completely outplayed by the Canucks before finding their legs, and allowed the home side back in the game in the span of several minutes straddling the second 18-minute break.

The Habs showed a bit of pushback, enough to not only tie the game at five apiece but actually get back in the lead with a couple of minutes left. But on this night that was too much time remaining, and since goals were only scored in bunches, the Canucks got the final two to secure the game in overtime.

Rather than set the cruise control and see out the final 40 minutes, the Habs had to exert more energy just to claim a point, so they will be more fatigued today than they would have been with a better shutdown effort. They also picked up more injuries over the course of the game, the most troubling being the ankle/foot issue Sean Monahan carried into the game worsening to the point he had to end his night early.

Montreal now makes the short trip to Washington State with a banged-up roster, which may not (probably should not) include their number-two centre, to play their third game in four days against a good Seattle Kraken squad.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistics Kraken
Canadiens Statistics Kraken
12-11-2 Record 15-6-3
46.2% (25th) Scoring-chances-for % 50.1% (18th)
2.92 (22nd) Goals per game 3.67 (5th)
3.60 (27th) Goals against per game 3.13 (18th)
17.1% (29th) PP% 26.0% (8th)
79.1% (12th) PK% 66.7% (30th)
0-1-1 H2H Record (21-22) 2-0-0

The Kraken were a good team on paper last year with at least a competitive roster pieced together during the expansion draft. They had many possession numbers, but not many wins. The issue for them was goaltending, and as we’re seeing with another of the biggest risers in the 2022-23 season, the New Jersey Devils, now that they have that position somewhat settled, the wins are starting to come.

Since a 3-4-2 start to their season, the Kraken have earned winning streaks of five and seven games, the latter just coming to an end a few days ago when the Florida Panthers came to town. During that recent run they had games with eight and nine goals, showing how much offensive talent they possess.

Seattle is fifth in the league scoring 3.67 goals per game, somewhat inflated by those outbursts, but that doesn’t take away from the depth of offence they have. There are 12 players on the team with at least 10 points, giving them the most double-digit point-producers among the top five teams in the league.

One player who hasn’t joined in on offence is their 2022 first-round selection Shane Wright, one of only three players to play a game for the team and not score a goal, along with former Habs players Cale Fleury and Gustav Olofsson. Wright has only been in the lineup for seven games this year (five of those on the road. which seems like an odd deployment) and only hit nine minutes of action once.

He recently completed a conditioning stint with Seattle’s AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley, receiving more playing time in the minor leagues and responding with four goals in five games. He’s now back with the Kraken just in time to face the Canadiens (just a coincidence, they’ll surely say), feeling much more confident and hoping his 36.4% shooting percentage in the AHL is a mark that stands until his playing career is over.

Several of the road games the Habs have played recently have been about players returning to old stomping grounds. It started back in Chicago with Kirby Dach’s return, and on the current trip, it was Monahan heading back to the Saddledome. Tonight the storyline will be all about the recent draft picks, and which of Wright and Juraj Slafkovský can come out on top in the first head-to-head meeting between the two.

Slafkovský may not join his more senior teammates and place money on the board for this one — especially after just taking the check at the rookie dinner. But you know he and his counterpart want to prove which one was the most deserving of that first overall selection back at the Bell Centre on July 7.