Gameday Morning Brief – 4/22 @ Minnesota Wild

How far can this team go? That’s the question on Kraken fans’ minds following Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. That victory secured the first three game win streak in franchise history and was further evidence that this Kraken team is a different animal than its early season counterpart. Can that success be replicated over 1,500 miles away in Minnesota? We’ll find out tonight.

Opponent Spotlight – Minnesota Wild

As of last night, the Wild’s first round playoff matchup is locked in. While Minnesota’s players know they’re guaranteed to be facing off against the St. Louis Blues in two weeks’ time, motivation shouldn’t be an issue tonight. The Wild and Blues are still in a heated battle for home ice advantage in that series, with both teams at 105 points in the standings.

While incentive won’t be a factor, fatigue could be. The Wild are on the second half of a back-to-back after dashing what was left of Vancouver’s playoff hopes with a 6-3 win last night.

Keep an eye on Wild winger Kevin Fiala, who has been on a tear of late. He’s riding an eight game point streak, tallying nine goals and seven assists over that stretch.

Three Keys

  1. Stay on top – Dave Hakstol talked about the need to “stay on top of that group.” last game against a talented Colorado team. That means being aware of where every player is on the ice on a team level and making sure the man you cover doesn’t get behind you on an individual level. That’s going to carry forward tonight against Minnesota.
  2. Stretch the ice – Will Borgen’s long stretch pass to set up Kole Lind’s goal set the tone for the Kraken early in Wednesday’s game. From then on, the Avs’ D had to respect the stretch pass and backed off the blueline. That created a cushion for Kraken forwards when attacking later, allowing them to maintain possession when entering the offensive zone.
  3. Wilt the Flower – Goals won’t come as easy tonight as they did last game. That’s just the reality. Marc-Andre Fleury had a pair of stellar performances against the Kraken earlier this season and will likely be in form again tonight. However, Seattle can learn from the latter of the two games, where they didn’t get discouraged, kept peppering Fleury, and ultimately secured the win.

Did You Know…

In a 2010 game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild completed the biggest comeback in franchise history. Trailing 5-1 in the third period, Minnesota scored four goals to tie the game before winning in an eight-round shootout. What stands out to me about this comeback is the fact that no single player was the driving force behind it. In fact, the scoring was as spread out as it could have possibly been. 12 different players recorded points on the Wild’s four goals in the third period comeback. That’s the definition of a full team effort.

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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