Did we fly too close to the sun? It’s a question I asked in ECH Postgame Live, albeit mostly in jest, after a peak of optimism surrounding the Kraken came crashing down last night. That epic second period collapse has temporarily reopened the question of whether the Kraken can, in fact, have nice things. Many of the same miscues that have plagued the team throughout the majority of the season came back in full force last night. The good news? Matty Beniers and co. will have a chance to right the ship less than 24 hours later as they face the Dallas Stars tonight.
Opponent Spotlight – Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars’ playoff chances are slipping away. After dropping all three games on their recent Western Canada road trip, Dallas has propped the door wide open for the Vegas Golden Knights to steal the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. While the Stars are still two points up on Vegas, their recent play is alarming. Poor defense and lack of urgency have led to a team that outwardly looks disinterested.
While their ever-dangerous top line of Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski, and Roope Hintz has continued to produce, depth contributions have been few and far between. When that trio doesn’t get help, it’s been tough sledding for the Stars.
- Stay out of the box – If you watched yesterday’s game, this one is pretty self-explanatory. The Wild scored on each of their first three powerplays, taking the Kraken out of the game entirely. Seattle needs to take some pressure off the PK tonight.
- Reset defensively – Everything fell apart for the Kraken in their own end last game. Player tracking was poor and Wild forwards were able to sneak behind the defense, especially on the powerplay. Although it’s difficult to do with such a quick turnaround, the D need to mentally reset and focus on the fundamentals. Dave Hakstol hinted at shuffling some different defensemen into the lineup, which should help.
- Momentum management – A momentum shift was part of what doomed the Kraken last night. When the Wild tied the game in the second period, there were opportunities for Dave Hakstol to slow things down by calling a timeout or making a goalie change. Instead, he did neither while his team was overrun. I understand the decision not to change goalies on the first half of a back-to-back, but if a similar situation arises tonight, Hakstol should consider calling a timeout.
Did You Know…
Did you know Stars fans love to sing? While spectators at many arenas have been known to belt out a tune during play, few do it better this season than the fans in Dallas. When the Kraken last visited American Airlines Center, I noticed several sing-alongs on the TV broadcast. Keep your ears open and you might hear something like this from last week:
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!