Gameday Morning Brief – 12/15 @ Anaheim Ducks

After an impressive win over San Jose last night, the Kraken fly to southern California to take on the Anaheim Ducks. With the win over the Sharks in the bag, one might be tempted to be satisfied with a split in road back-to-backs. But the Kraken need to start banking points in the division if they’re going to get back in the playoff conversation. Tonight’s game gives them an opportunity to do that before heading home for a three-game homestand.

Opponent Spotlight – Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have been one of the biggest surprises in the NHL this season, storming out to a 16-9-5 record and sitting first place in the Pacific Division. The youth movement has paid dividends for Anaheim with Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, and Sonny Milano (average age 23) leading the way for the Ducks in scoring. The Ducks also have a deep, largely veteran blueline that includes 19-year-old top prospect Jamie Drysdale. In net, John Gibson has remained one of the top goalies in the NHL.

Three Keys

  1. Hard backcheck – The Kraken almost entirely neutralized the Sharks’ attack last night, largely due to hard backchecking. When the Sharks’ forwards carried the puck through then neutral zone, Kraken forwards were quick to follow them from behind and disrupt zone entries. That will be very important tonight against a Ducks team that’s dangerous in transition.
  2. Get in shooting lanes – This key could also be titled “stop Troy Terry.” Terry has one of the most dangerous shots in the NHL and he used it to terrorize the Kraken earlier this season when the two teams met in November. Preventing Terry from having a clean release could keep an extra goal or two out of Seattle’s net.
  3. Give Grubauer sight lines – When the Kraken last played the Ducks, Anaheim generated a couple goals from point shots that found their way through traffic without Grubauer ever being able to see the puck. That type of chance is near impossible for a goalie to stop, so the Kraken need to place an emphasis on clearing traffic out from in front of their own net, especially off of defensive zone faceoffs.

Did You Know…

Today’s memory is a very recent one (only a week old) but I had to put it here. If you haven’t seen this goal yet, you absolutely need to.

ECH Postgame Live

Join us after the game for ECH Postgame Live! After every Kraken game this season, RJ and Dylan will do a live postgame show on the Emerald City Hockey YouTube Channel. ECH Postgame live will include a postgame wrap-up, analysis, and a live Q&A with viewers. Join the community of Kraken fans who tune in after the game to talk Kraken hockey!

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