Gameday Morning Brief – 4/3 vs. Dallas Stars

After losing a second straight game to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, the Kraken will try to avoid being swept in this three-game homestand. Standing in their way are the Dallas Stars, who will be every bit as desperate for points as Vegas was last week.

Opponent Spotlight – Dallas Stars

Like the Kraken’s last two opponents, the Stars are in the thick of an ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff race. Dallas is currently holding onto the final wild card spot in the West, with Vegas and Nashville one point behind and one point ahead of them, respectively. The Stars will be on the second half of a back-to-back, having played last night in San Jose.

When the Kraken last faced the Stars in January, I said to keep an eye on Joe Pavelski. Pavelski was definitely worth watching, as he racked up five points in that game. The 37-year-old forward is one of the slower players in the league, but his hands and intelligence allow him to carve up defenses that are prone to mistakes, like Seattle’s. Watch Pavelski’s positioning and ability to quietly evade defenders. He’ll have an encore performance tonight if the Kraken aren’t careful.

Three Keys

  1. Strong start – Things not going well early can take any player off his game, as we saw Friday when two of the Kraken’s top skill players dropped the gloves and fought. Jared McCann called his fight “frustration boiling over,” which makes sense after going over 100 minutes without a goal. Putting a puck in the back of the net early would eliminate that frustration before it can fester.
  2. Stars top line – In January, the Kraken had no answer for the Stars’ top line of Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson, and Roope Hintz. They’ll need an answer tonight to have any hope of winning. That starts with not giving them anything easy. The kind of defensive zone turnovers the Kraken committed last game can’t happen when that trio is on the ice.
  3. Make them defend – Tonight is the last game in a stretch of four road games in six days for the Stars. Legs get tired in those situations, especially at the end of back-to-back games. Cycling the puck in the offensive zone and forcing Dallas to defend for long stretches will add to the fatigue and open up holes for the Kraken.

Did You Know…

In 2007, the Stars were on the wrong end of one of the most famous blunders in NHL history. Patrik Stefan, with a game-sealing goal all but assured, missed the Oilers’ empty net from only inches away. The Oilers promptly took the puck, headed up ice, and scored the tying goal. While the Stars would go on to win the game in overtime, Stefan became forever known in hockey circles for that embarrassing moment. The former 1st overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft would only play 13 more games in his NHL career after that night.

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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