Gameday Morning Brief – 4/16 vs. New Jersey Devils

Tuesday’s 5-3 loss in Calgary put the remainder of the Kraken’s season in perspective. In a turn of events we’ve come to expect over the course of the season, the Kraken blew a 3-1 third period lead. It’s far from the first time the Kraken have let attainable points slip away, which is a major reason why they’re in the situation they are now. But it’s not about the standings points anymore. It’s about hope for the future, as we saw in the form of Matty Beniers. Last year’s second overall pick shined in Tuesday’s game, tallying an assist and looking extremely comfortable in his first NHL game. Tonight, Beniers gets to make his home debut for the Kraken. It’ll be a special night for the Beniers family, as Matty’s parents will be in attendance after being unable to attend Tuesday’s game due to a missed flight connection.

Opponent Spotlight – New Jersey Devils

The Devils sit 28th in the NHL standings, only six points ahead of the Kraken. It’s been a challenge for the Devils finishing up the end of their season, as they’ve lost six of their last eight games and haven’t strung three wins together since January 2nd.

New Jerseys biggest issues have been in net. They’ve had seven different goalies start games for them this season and the only one with a save percentage over .900 is Jonathan Bernier, who is now out for the season after hip surgery.

Three Keys

  1. New combinations – Dave Hakstol shook up the forward lines a bit in yesterday’s practice. The most notable change was Jared McCann being put on Yanni Gourde’s wing. Gourde and McCann have separately been two of Seattle’s best forwards, but have rarely played together at even strength. Hakstol mentioned that the change was an experiment and how long they stay together will depend on how well they work together. We’ll see how it turns out in practice, but there’s a lot of potential there on paper.
  2. Active D – Last game, Seattle’s defensemen were as active as they’ve been all season, jumping into the offensive zone without hesitation to aid the forwards and create chaos for the opposition. Adam Larsson almost looked like a rover, playing wherever the puck was going to go. It worked brilliantly, as the Flames had no answer for the tactic and Larsson scored a goal. Keep it going tonight.
  3. Power Kill – The Devils have 11 shorthanded goals this season, tied for the most in the NHL. That’s blood in the water for a Kraken PK that has had a ton of success generating shorthanded opportunities.

Did You Know…

Today’s Devils memory is Travis Zajac showing us the importance of sticking with it. During a shootout in 2009, Zajac bobbled the puck and appeared to have thrown away his shootout chance. But he took a backhand whack at the puck and it found its way into the net. Fun fact: Zajac was coached by Dave Hakstol at the University of North Dakota from 2004-2006.

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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