After a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Kraken face the Detroit Red Wings in the final game of a two game homestand. Overshadowing the game itself is the air of uncertainty leading up to Monday’s trade deadline. With several players potentially on their way out of town, the Kraken will need to put personal distractions in the back of their minds if they want to win tonight. Of course, that’s easier said than done. When I asked Dave Hakstol how the team can stay focused with everything going on, he admitted that “there’s no easy way.”
Opponent Spotlight – Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings currently sit 11th place in the Eastern Conference and after a surprisingly good start to the season, are starting to sink back into the east’s basement. Their 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday snapped a six-game losing streak. While Detroit’s wealth of talented prospects suggests it won’t be long until they return to the playoffs, it certainly won’t happen this season, as they’re now 23 points out of a playoff spot. The Wings have allowed a lot of goals recently. In their last 10 games, they’ve had games of 5, 6 (twice), 7, 9, and 10 goals against.
Keep an eye on Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider. The young German is emerging as a favorite for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. With his 6’4 frame and high-end skill, he’s a monster on the ice who excels in both the offensive and defensive zones.
- Work mentality – I covered it a bit in the intro, but there are going to be a lot of outside distractions with the trade deadline looming. The Kraken can’t let that affect their game. They did a good job of that last game, starting strong against the Lightning after Mark Giordano’s 1000th game ceremony.
- Test Nedeljkovic/Greiss – After their recent losing streak, both of Detroit’s goalies have fallen below a .905 save percentage on the season. There’s not a whole lot of confidence there right now. Be opportunistic and throw pucks to the net.
- Stay out of the box – The Kraken have gotten into penalty trouble often in March, including last game vs. Tampa. Detroit’s powerplay isn’t on that level, but they’ll still make the Kraken pay if given six opportunities like the Lightning had.
Did You Know…
If you’ve been reading these morning briefs for a while, you’ve probably gathered that I like talking about strange goals. Well, in 2014 the Red Wings provided one of my favorites. Niklas Kronwall shot a puck that went up into the netting, then fell back to the ice and deflected perfectly off of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and into the Kings net. The play should have been blown dead immediately once the puck hit the netting. But the officials lost track of the puck and called the play a good goal. Unfortunately for the Kings, whether a puck hit the netting or not wasn’t a reviewable call.
The reason I remember this goal so vividly is because it helped the Red Wings beat the 2014 LA Kings, a team that, being a Sharks fan at the time, I was very much against. I remember watching this game on TV in college and hearing my Kings fan friends complaining about it for at least a week afterwards. It was a fun week.
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!