The trade deadline has passed, and the Arizona Coyotes are still mostly the same team. Johan Larsson, who hasn’t played since January 25th, and goaltender Scott Wedgewood, are the only players to be traded. Along with some intriguing prospects and picks, the only player who will be joining the Coyotes is goaltender Harri Säteri, a Finnish netminder who was claimed off waivers.
But all that is over, and the team is set for the rest of the season, and the Coyotes have a crucial task ahead of them. After dropping their last two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks, the Coyotes have an opportunity to beat the Kraken for the third and final time to complete the sweep.
Despite the outcome, the Yotes played better against the San Jose Sharks than they had in some of their previous outings. The game was close until the final five minutes, and things could have gone the other way.
Maybe the Coyotes won’t need to keep it close tonight, though. Their games against the Ottawa Senators and Montréal Canadiens were far from ideal, but the Desert Dogs still walked away with a win against a lower-tier team. Of course, that isn’t going to work against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the Kraken aren’t the Penguins.
Seattle spent most of yesterday selling and got a reasonably decent return. Gone are Mason Appleton, Colin Blackwell, Mark Giordano, Calle Jarnkrok, Marcus Johansson, and Jeremy Lauzon, in are Daniel Sprong, Victor Rask, and a bunch of picks for the next few drafts.
The Kraken and Ron Francis recognized that the Kraken were not good enough after the Expansion Draft and needed to do something differently. Unlike the Vegas Golden Knights, who were highly successful in their first year as a team, the Kraken realized they weren’t good and needed to take this process slowly.
But that isn’t going to help the Kraken this year. They are currently eighth in the Pacific Division but come into tonight’s game with some momentum after beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Saturday.
In March, the Kraken has three wins, the previously mentioned win over the Red Wings, a 4-3 shootout win over the Montréal Canadiens, and a 4-3 win of the Nashville Predators. They have dropped most of their games, but they faced tough competition like the Washington Capitals, the Carolina Hurricane, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Lawson Crouse - Crouse had a goal and an assist in his last game and has five goals and seven points in his previous five games. The first time the Coyotes and Kraken met, he had two goals.
Seattle: Yanni Gourde - Gourde had two goals in the Kraken’s last game and leads the Seattle team with 38 points in 55 games. He has a goal and two assists against the Coyotes this season.
Arizona: Janis Moser (upper body), Jakob Chychrun (lower body), Antoine Roussel (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Andrew Ladd (lower body), Jay Beagle (lower body), Dmitrij Jaškin (lower body), Conor Timmins (knee)
Seattle: Joonas Donskoi (questionable, undisclosed), Brandon Tanev (knee)
Tonight’s game will be at 7:00 pm Arizona time and will air on Bally Sports Arizona and 620 AM.