Gameday Morning Brief – 1/21 vs. St. Louis Blues

After defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 last night, the Kraken stay on their home ice facing a team that beat them in a tight 2-1 contest last last week. What’s on the line? The longest winning streak in franchise history. If the Kraken win tonight, it will be the first time the team has ever won three games in a row.

Opponent Spotlight – St. Louis Blues

The Kraken played in St. Louis only eight days ago, so Seattle fans probably don’t need too much of a refresher on the Blues. Since that game, St. Louis has played two very good teams, losing to the Maple Leafs and beating the Predators. The Blues have still won eight of their last 11 games. The biggest difference between last week and tonight can be found when looking at the the St. Louis lineup. The Blues have had several impact players return from COVID protocol in the past week. Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko, and Brayden Schenn will all be in the lineup tonight after missing last Thursday’s game. That should be a huge boost to a St. Louis team that played well against the Kraken but struggled to break through and create goals.

Three Keys

  1. Physicality – One element that stood out in last night’s game against the Sharks was physicality. The Kraken finished checks in many spots where they wouldn’t have earlier in the season. That wore down the Sharks and gave the Kraken an edge in late board battles. They’ll need to keep it up against a big, strong Blues team.
  2. Strong start – The Kraken came out of the gate flat last night, allowing a goal in the first minute of the game. Coach Hakstol even said they “sleep-walked through the first period.” while the Kraken got away with it in that case, more often than not a good team will put you away early with a first period performance like that. Seattle will need to get going sooner tonight.
  3. Prevent long breakout passes – I’m keeping this key because the Kraken were victimized by long stretch passes again last night. Erik Karlsson made a stretch pass that put Timo Meier on a breakaway in the second period. If Meier scored there, it’s likely a very different game. Credit to Grubauer for stopping that shot, but the Kraken can’t continue to allow those kinds of passes.

Did You Know…

Did you know that “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky played for the St. Louis Blues? Most remember Gretzky for his time with the Edmonton Oilers or Los Angeles Kings. But Gretzky spent a portion of the 1995-96 season in St. Louis when he was brought in as a trade deadline acquisition. The Blues, who were gearing up for a playoff run, named Gretzky captain immediately upon acquiring him. Gretzky helped bring the Blues within one game of the Conference Finals but ultimately decided not to return to St. Louis the following season, signing with the New York Rangers.

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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