Gameday Morning Brief – 2/21 @ Vancouver Canucks

After a hard-fought 2-1 loss in Calgary, the Kraken travel to Vancouver for the final game of their Canadian road trip. Tonight’s game provides the Kraken with an opportunity to play spoiler against a Canucks team desperately trying to stay in the playoff hunt. Every point matters for Vancouver and a Kraken win would go a long way toward sparking the Seattle-Vancouver rivalry that has seemed inevitable since the Kraken first took the ice.

Reminder that we’ll be doing a Patreon-exclusive ECH Live Commentary during the game tonight! All patrons in our Watch Party Tier can join us for live reaction and discussion throughout the game with our great community of patrons. If you want to subscribe to our Patreon and get access to ECH Live Commentary and other perks, here’s our Patreon page.

Opponent Spotlight – Vancouver Canucks

When the Kraken last faced the Canucks on New Year’s Day, Vancouver was overcome by excitement with their new head coach Bruce Boudreau. The Canucks had rattled off seven straight wins since hiring BBQ Bruce and looked to be on their way back into the playoff picture. Well, things have slowed down a bit for the Canucks, who are 7-7-3 since that 5-2 win in Seattle. The Canucks sit seven points out of a playoff spot and look unlikely to climb back into the playoff race as a serious contender.

Keep an eye on Conor Garland. The 5’8 165lb winger has scored a goal in each of his two games against Seattle and can terrorize defenses with his shiftiness and willingness to go to the front of the net.

Three Keys

  1. Aggressive forecheck – The Canucks have struggled defensively, allowing 19 goals in their last four games. A major factor has been the struggle to exit the zone cleanly when pressured. The Kraken had some successful stretches forcing the Flames’ defensemen into mistakes last game. It should be more effective tonight in Vancouver.
  2. Stay out of the box – This is something the Kraken did perfectly in their last game, taking no penalties. Keeping the opponent’s powerplay off the ice will be a big factor again tonight, as the Canucks are 2 for 6 (33%) on the powerplay against the Kraken this season.
  3. 60 minute effort – The Kraken’s inability to consistently limit mental lapses has been a storyline all season. Just because you stayed focused for a full game a couple days ago doesn’t mean you can get complacent and take that level of discipline for granted. Playing the right way for a full 60 has to happen night in, night out.

Did You Know…

Today’s Canucks memory comes courtesy of the Kraken’s own Jared McCann, who was drafted by the Canucks 24th overall in 2014. McCann got his NHL start in Vancouver and scored his first NHL goal on October 10th, 2015 against the Calgary Flames. As you might expect, it was a beauty. McCann wound up for a laser wrist shot that beat Jonas Hiller high glove side. It was a hint at the great scoring potential he’s realized over his career.

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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