After a thrilling 5-3 home win over the NHL’s top team, the Kraken will try to build off their success against the Nashville Predators. The Kraken have won three of their last four games in what has been perhaps their most impressive stretch of the season. Has this talented but inconsistent Kraken team finally turned a corner? Tonight’s game against a very good Central Division team should give a good indication.
Opponent Spotlight – Nashville Predators
The Predators, who will always carry the important distinction of being the first team the Kraken beat, have been on a roll since the start of December. They’re 14-4-2 in their last 20 games, driven in large part by their success away from home. Their 13-7-3 road record is best in the Western Conference.
Keep an eye on one of the more underrated goalies in the league, Juuse Saros. At 5’11, he’s one of the smallest goalies in the NHL. But he’s incredibly talented and is having a season that should put him squarely in the Vezina Trophy (best goalie) conversation. Saros has 8.0 goalie point shares this season (most in the league), essentially meaning his play has personally contributed eight standings points to the Predators. It’s not just a hot one-off year either. Saros’ 42.7 goals saved above average is the most in the NHL over the past three seasons.
- Good dump-ins – Last game, the Kraken were able to establish a forecheck consistently, something they failed to do on Friday against the Blues. The biggest difference? According to coach Hakstol, the Kraken did a better job putting the puck in the right spots to go retrieve it. Keeping the puck away from the other team’s goalie on dump-ins allowed the Kraken to more effectively fetch it and establish a forecheck. Saros is a good puckhandler, so keeping it away from him and letting the forecheck go to work will be key tonight.
- Clear the goalie’s vision – Philipp Grubauer has recently returned the good form he’s been known for throughout his career. One of the primary reasons why is the defense’s ability to clear players out of his sight lines. Grubauer was seeing just about every shot in Sunday’s game and it made a huge difference, especially in the final two minutes.
- Show Davy Jones – The Kraken are 3-0 when showing Davy Jones on the twins during the game. Coincidence? I think not.
Did You Know…
Did you know a Predators goalie scored the most recent goalie goal in the NHL? A little over two years ago on January 9th, 2020, the now-retired Pekka Rinne shot the puck from behind his own goal line into the Blackhawks’ empty net. In doing so, he became the twelfth goalie in NHL history to score a goal, and only the seventh to do it by shooting the puck into the opposing net.
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!