Gameday Morning Brief – 4/1 vs. Vegas Golden Knights

After being shut out by the Vegas Golden Knights in a game that mathematically eliminated Seattle from playoff contention, The Kraken look to bounce back against the same opponent. Wednesday’s 3-0 loss was certainly an underwhelming performance. That said, the Kraken’s recent record does offer some hope. Seattle followed up a lackluster 4-2 loss in Los Angeles with a convincing 6-1 win two days later. We’ll see if they can repeat that success tonight.

Opponent Spotlight – Vegas Golden Knights

Since the Kraken played the Golden Knights two days ago, there’s not a whole lot new on the Golden Knights’ end. Robin Lehner, who backed up yesterday, may make his return from a knee injury tonight but we won’t know for sure until around noon.

To find out how Vegas got to this point and get a more in-depth look at this matchup, listen to this week’s episode of The Deep Dive podcast. Ken Boehlke from joins us to talk about the Golden Knights and Kraken and the significance these back-to-back games have for both teams. Ken is a great guest and he always has interesting things to say. Highly recommend giving it a listen.

Three Keys

  1. Clog the neutral zone – In the second period of Wednesday’s game, the Golden Knights could do anything they wanted in the neutral zone. Breakouts were met with no resistance between the bluelines and that freedom fueled the Vegas attack. The Kraken need to do a better job getting sticks and bodies in the way.
  2. Roll with the punches – I had “manage momentum” as a key last game and the Kraken failed in that regard. When they gave up a breakaway goal to Shea Theodore out of the penalty box, the Kraken didn’t look right for the rest of the game. Seattle probably will face some adversity in tonight’s game. They need to respond better.
  3. Grinding forecheck – After yesterday’s practice, Jordan Eberle outlined the way Seattle’s forwards need to play: “we’re not going to outskill opponents. We’re not built that way.” Eberle talked about needing to grind and forecheck along the boards. He even added a “pucks in deep” for good measure.

Did You Know…

Back in November, I talked about the Golden Knights’ epic Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks in my Gameday Morning Brief.

But I want to bring it up again, this time with a more personal connection and a bit of advice. That game remains the best sporting event I’ve ever been to. The series of events that led to the comeback made it truly special, something I don’t think I’ll ever see again. But I never would have been there that night if not for my dad. I watched Game 6 with my family at my parents’ house in southern California, as Tomas Hertl scored the shorthanded game-winner in overtime to force a Game 7. After we had calmed down a bit from celebrating, my dad suggested I should make the five hour drive up to San Jose and go to Game 7.

He told me that games like that don’t happen very often and I might regret not going. He told me not to worry about the cost either, that he’d pay for the tickets. My dad knew that given my personality, it’s not something I ever would have done on my own. But he also knew how much going to that game would mean to me. Finally, I agreed and bought tickets. The rest is history.

So my advice is: if you’re ever given the chance to make a special memory like that, do it. I spent hours worrying about the time the drive would take and the cost of the ticket, but I could never put a price on being in the building for that game. So with that story I want to give a shoutout to my dad on his birthday today. He’s always encouraged me to follow my passion for hockey, whether it’s going to an unforgettable game or starting a media company covering an NHL team. Happy Birthday, Dad.

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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