After a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, the Kraken will try to snap their five-game losing skid against the Boston Bruins. The Kraken have struggled to find consistency following the All-Star break, and frustration is mounting. It’s clear they’re capable of beating skilled teams, but full 60-minute performances have been elusive. They’ll have one more crack at it tonight before going back on the road this weekend.
Opponent Spotlight – Boston Bruins
The Bruins are in the same place in the standings as they were when the Kraken played them at the start of the month: 4th in the division, 8th in the conference. Not among the East’s top teams but comfortably in a playoff spot. It’s been an up and down season for the B’s but things have been trending up recently. The Bruins are coming off a big win, as they convincingly beat the league’s best team in a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Keep an eye on Brad Marchand, the talented but agitating Bruins winger. Tonight’s game will be his first after returning from a six-game suspension for sucker punching and spearing Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry. (If he plays. He missed yesterday’s practice with a personal absence.) Marchand is always a threat to stir things up behind the play or score a big goal.
- 60 minute effort – It feels like this is a key every other game, but its importance was more noticeable than ever Tuesday night. The Kraken looked like two completely different teams against the Islanders. Knowing that the team that played such a sloppy first 40 minutes was capable of the excellent performance they gave in the final 20 minutes makes things all the more frustrating.
- Smarter with the puck – After last game, Yanni Gourde said the Kraken have “a lot of stuff to work on” in the defensive zone. While they didn’t have a day of practice to work on the defensive X’s and O’s, one simple fix is to be more careful with the puck in the D-zone. Some of the turnovers last game were the type you’d see from youth hockey players: unforced errors caused by either being too lackadaisical with the puck or panicking under pressure. Seattle’s defensemen are professional hockey players. Moving the puck with purpose should be well within their capability. It’s just a matter of discipline and execution.
- Cleaner odd-man rushes – After last game, coach Hakstol made an interesting observation about an area of the Kraken’s game that could be improved. He highlighted the fact that the Kraken had several odd-man rushes early in the game, but generated zero shots from them. That wasn’t surprising having watched the game. A lot of the passes in those situations went into players’ skates or flat out missed their target. Generating shots in those situations will be key to scoring goals against a stingy Bruins defense.
Did You Know…
Today I want to talk about a player Kraken fans have seen recently: Zdeno Chara. The 6’9 behemoth of a defenseman is now on the New York Islanders, but he spent the prime of his career with the Bruins, serving as their captain from 2006-2020. He’s set to break the record for most NHL games played by a defenseman tonight, a record he tied in Seattle on Tuesday. Chara is a truly special player; someone we may never see the likes of again. His combination of size, skill, and physical dominance is one of a kind. At 44, he’s now the oldest player in all of the big four professional sports. Take a look at some of Chara’s best moments in Boston:
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!