Gameday Morning Brief – 4/9 vs. Calgary Flames

After a 2-0 shutout over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Kraken return home to try to build off their momentum. Make sure to set your alarms for the earlier than usual 4:00PM start time. We’ll be treated to the third game of the season with daylight pouring in through the Tightwad Terrace windows.

Reminder that we’ll be having our second ECH Meetup of the season before today’s game! Join fellow members of the ECH Community at The Armory at 2:00PM to talk Kraken before the game. We’ll be giving away ECH pins and The Deep Dive podcast stickers too!

Opponent Spotlight – Calgary Flames

The Flames will be a big step up from the Kraken’s last opponent. Calgary is comfortably in first place in the Pacific Division and Coach Darryl Sutter has them firing on all cylinders in their defensive system. They’ve allowed the fewest goals per game in the NHL and are on a three game win streak, having beaten each of the California teams on their current road trip.

I would say to keep an eye on former Kraken winger Calle Jarnkrok, but he’s missed the last four games with an illness and his status for tonight’s game is very much in doubt. So instead, watch pending unrestricted free agent Johnny Gaudreau. The 5’9 winger will hit triple digits on the season with his next point and could be a top free agency target for Ron Francis this summer.

Three Keys

  1. Defensive structure – The Kraken have played two games against Calgary so far this season: a high-scoring 6-4 loss at home and a tighter 2-1 loss on the road. The Kraken should model tonight’s game on the latter. With Philipp Grubauer playing well, they can rely on him to make timely saves and use the counterattack to their advantage.
  2. PK faceoffs – Dave Hakstol highlighted the importance of PK faceoffs again after Seattle’s last game. The Kraken had to kill off nearly two minutes of 5-on-3 time and Hakstol said that winning key faceoffs helped them set the tone for the penalty kill. Getting in that rhythm will be necessary against the Flames’ top-10 PP unit.
  3. Can’t chase the game – The Flames are one of the best teams at playing with a lead. Their 29 wins when leading after the first period are the most in the NHL and they’re 36-1-2 when leading after two. Going behind early isn’t an option.

Did You Know…

Those of you who listened to last week’s Red Glare Podcast on Patreon may remember my rant about kids always asking for sticks during warmups. Well this kid did warmups right. Dressed in full Miikka Kiprusoff gear, including a beard drawn on with marker, he mimicked his favorite player’s entire pregame warmup routine.

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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