After dropping a winnable game in Winnipeg, the Kraken head to Calgary in the second stop of their three-game Canadian road trip. Thursday’s game highlighted the fact that this Kraken team still has significant mental barriers to overcome. Mental lapses continue to be a problem and motivation seems suspect. That said, Seattle should have no problem finding reasons to get up for tonight’s game. Their captain Mark Giordano is making his return to the city here he played for 17 years and the Flames are the top team in the Pacific Division. The Kraken have risen to the occasion in similar moments earlier this season. Can they do it again tonight?
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Opponent Spotlight – Calgary Flames
It’s all come together for the Calgary Flames. They sit atop the Pacific Division and are playing the kind of tight-checking, defensively responsible style that’s been head coach Darryl Sutter’s hallmark throughout his career. Having allowed the fewest goals in the league and having posted a remarkable 10 shutouts already this season, this Flames team can suffocate even the most dynamic offenses.
Keep an eye on Flames forward Tyler Toffoli. Acquired from Montreal in a trade last week, Toffoli has 30 goal scorer ability and a familiarity with Sutter and his systems. He scored a goal in his Flames debut and will look to add more tonight as he continues to integrate himself into the Calgary lineup.
- Win it for Gio – As mentioned earlier, the Kraken’s primary shortcomings right now are mental lapses. It takes motivation and discipline to play the right kind of game for a full 60 minutes, and the Kraken have struggled in that regard. If the last Kraken-Flames game is anything to go by, Giordano will certainly have a strong game against his former team. IT’s up to his teammates to follow his lead and stay mentally engaged all game.
- Player movement – One of the tools the Kraken used most effectively early in Thursday’s game was player movement. Having players move outside their standard positions in the offensive zone kept the Winnipeg defense on its heels and generated goals. I did a short video breakdown here on how player movement helped create Marcus Johansson’s first period goal.
- Clean breakouts – The Kraken struggled to get the puck out of their own zone Thursday night. Often, they were trying to overcomplicate zone exits, making unnecessary drop passes. Keep things simple and don’t feed the opposing rush.
Did You Know…
In honor of Mark Giordano’s return to Calgary, today’s Flames memory will be a thrilling comeback in which he played a pivotal role. On November 1st, 2018, the Flames trailed 4-1 to the Colorado Avalanche heading into the third period. The Flames came out of the locker room for the final frame and shocked the Avs, scoring five goals in under 13 minutes to win 6-4. Giordano, then the Flames captain, had an assist and the go-ahead goal in the third period comeback.
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!