Calgary Flames vs. Seattle Kraken Game Preview 12/28/2022
The Flames head to the Climate Pledge Arena to face the Seattle Kraken for the second time this season. Just one point separates the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken heading into their Pacific Division showdown in Seattle tonight. While the Pacific is one of the weakest divisions in the NHL, these two teams are looking to take advantage of owning a top three. Will the Kraken defend their position? Or will the Flames pull the rug out from under them and take third place?
The Krakens (18-10-4) have 40 points and are tied for third in the division with the Edmonton Oilers, one point ahead of the Flames (16-13-7). Head-to-head matchups like these will be vital as you battle for the next playoff spot. So beating division rivals in December can determine whether a team is in the playoffs come April. The Kraken won the previous games between the teams this season, a 5-4 victory in Calgary on Nov. 1. Seattle has at least one point in its last three games (2-0-1). Kraken forward Jared McCann will look to extend his goal streak to four games. The Kraken are coming back stronger after a poor inaugural season and making a big push for the playoffs. Calgary will look to bounce back from a 2-1 loss against the rival Oilers on Tuesday and try to avoid back-to-back losses in key division games. The Flames are 3-1-1 in their last five, thanks in part to forward Tyler Toffoli, who has seven points (four goals, three assists) over that span. Calgary needs to win big games like these and many more to come if they want to repeat the success they did last season.
Players to watch
For the Flames, Tyler Toffoli is the player to watch. Toffoli has been one of the focal points of this Flames offense. The team’s offense as a whole has struggled since the beginning of the year. And despite the additions of Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau, Toffoli and Elias Lindholm continue to outscore them. Toffoli has become a consistent scorer since coming to Calgary and has stepped up for a team that needs more scoring from their stars.
For the Kraken, Andre Burakovsky is the player to watch. As the Kraken’s leading scorer, Burakovsky has become a huge addition to their roster after being signed in free agency. Giving him a more prominent role on this roster and allowing his scoring talents to shine has paid dividends. Since his days in Washington, he has always shown flashes of being a quality scorer. But after his stint in Colorado and now transitioning into a prominent role in Seattle, Burakovsky has solidified himself as a top-line scoring winger.