It’s a new era in Seattle. After a pair of home wins fueled by rookie sensation Matty Beniers, the Kraken are riding a high unlike any they’ve felt this season. Hope has been renewed in Seattle, but that newfound optimism faces its first real test tonight. The Kraken are looking to accomplish something that’s eluded them all season: a three-game win streak. Standing in their way? Only the number one team in the NHL. Perhaps a fresh face can lead the Kraken into uncharted waters tonight.
Opponent Spotlight – Colorado Avalanche
There’s a good case to be made that the Avalanche are the best team in the NHL. They sit atop the league standings with 116 points and clinched top spot in the Western Conference with two weeks to spare. As a result of that hefty lead in the standings, the Avalanche have prioritized health and recovery from injuries in recent weeks. That will affect the on-ice product tonight, as it’s unclear whether key contributor Nazem Kadri will be in the lineup while Devon Toews and captain Gabriel Landeskog surely will not.
Those absences haven’t slowed the Avs down, however. Colorado enjoyed a nine game win streak before dropping Monday’s game to the Capitals. No matter who they’re missing on a given night, the Avalanche have plenty of skill to go around at all positions.
- Stay out of the box. – Nothing else matters if the Kraken can’t accomplish this key. Regardless of the effort the Kraken put in at 5-on-5 against Colorado if they feed the Avs powerplays. When given the man advantage, a team as skilled as the Avalanche can take an opponent out of a game quickly.
- Contain Cale – Cale Makar is as dynamic a defenseman as the NHL has ever seen. In the offensive zone, he’s incredibly dangerous moving laterally along the blueline and open up shooting lanes for himself. Seattle’s wingers need to stick tightly to him while centers and defensemen need to clog the shooting lanes.
- Depth contributors – Depth scoring was a key for the Kraken last game, as they got a pair of goals from Daniel Sprong and Victor Rask. The Avs have the kind of top-end talent that opponents can only hope to contain. To beat Colorado, you have to win those bottom-six matchups when opportunities open up.
Did You Know…
Did you know Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer played in two outdoor games with the Colorado Avalanche? In 2020, he faced the Los Angeles Kings at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs and in 2021 he faced the Vegas Golden Knights on the south shore of Lake Tahoe in California. Here’s a video of Grubauer wearing a GoPro while practicing ahead of the 2020 game.
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!