After being outclassed on home ice by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Kraken head to Winnipeg for the first game of a three-game Canadian road trip. Going back on the road, the Kraken will look to find their tight, defense-first game again. In their last road trip, the Kraken preached that type of play as their identity, only to get away from it after the All-Star break. As Mason Appleton put it yesterday, “A run and gun game, that doesn’t work for us. We’ve got to play to our identity against all three of these teams.”
Opponent Spotlight – Winnipeg Jets
The Jets currently sit at 11th place in the Western Conference, still in the hunt for a playoff spot but losing ground to other Central Division teams. They’ve struggled to find consistency recently, as they’ve alternated wins and losses over their last seven games. The Jets’ top line of Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, and Blake Wheeler is one of the best in the league, but depth beyond that trio is lacking. Keep an eye on Scheifele tonight. He had a hat trick last night against the Minnesota Wild and is one of the more underrated players in the NHL.
- New looks on powerplay – Seattle’s powerplay hit a new low in their last game, allowing a shorthanded goal and generally looking as stagnant and unthreatening as ever. While Hakstol still hasn’t fully admitted that the powerplay is a problem, the Kraken did take the opportunity to practice it yesterday. That’s important, as the Kraken desperately need to try some new plays with the extra man. The Jets have the 7th-worst PK in the NHL so tonight’s matchup will be a good bounce-back opportunity.
- Tips and screens – The last time the Kraken played the Jets, they were shut out by Connor Hellebuyck. Hellebuyck had clear sight lines throughout the game, leading to a manageable workload. To beat a goalie as talented as he is, you have to get in the way of his vision and deflect pucks. If he sees it, he’ll stop it.
- Outwork them in the 3rd – With the Jets having played last night, the Kraken can use their schedule advantage to take advantage of the Jets’ tired legs late in the game. Just need to keep the game within reach until then.
Did You Know…
Having seats near the glass at a hockey game is a unique experience. You get to be extremely close to all the hits, shots, and battles that take place in your section of the ice. On rare occasions, you can get even closer to the action than expected. One of the best examples of this came during a Jets-Blackhawks game in 2013. Jets defenseman Adam Pardy was checked through the glass and an inebriated-looking fan ripped off Pardy’s helmet and put it on his own head. While no fan should ever do that, it did provide one of the most memorable player-fan interactions in NHL history and a great line from the broadcast: “When you steal something, don’t wear it.”
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!