As Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek says, “If you’re going to stink, stink on the road.” While not their intended plan, the Kraken have stuck to that philosophy over the past two weeks. After last Wednesday’s win against Colorado, Kraken players and coaches talked about the importance of rewarding the fans who have stuck through them through some difficult times this season. Then the team collected zero points on a three game road trip. Now the Kraken return to Climate Pledge Arena for the season’s final homestand- one more chance to reward the home fans and end the season on a high note.
Opponent Spotlight – Los Angeles Kings
With the Dallas Stars’ shootout win over the Vegas Golden Knights last night, the Kings have clinched a playoff spot for the 31st time in their history. They’re now locked into the 3rd seed in the Pacific and will face the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. That means the Kings have little incentive to win tonight’s game.
As a result, tonight’s opponent may look very different than the Kings team we’re used to seeing. Look for some of LA’s key contributors to be out of the lineup as they rest up in preparation for what is sure to be a competitive playoff series next week.
- Be ready to play – Last night, the Kraken simply weren’t ready to play at puck drop. A sloppy first period dug them into an 0-3 hole from which they never recovered. Tonight, they can flip the script against a Kings team that may lack focus after clinching a playoff spot.
- Powerplay – 1 for 8. With two 5-on-3s. Against the league’s worst penalty kill. That performance isn’t going to cut it tonight. It’s the same issues we’ve seen since October: puck and player movement need to be better. Passes need to find tape instead of feet. Traffic has to get to the front of the net.
- Test Petersen – While a Kings starting goalie hasn’t been confirmed, I would imagine they’d want to give 36-year-old Jonathan Quick some rest now that their playoff spot is locked up. Enter Cal Petersen, who allowed six goals on 38 shots last time he faced the Kraken. No reason to pass up any chances to put a puck on net.
Did You Know…
Did you know Ron Burgundy called an entire period of Kings hockey? The Anchorman star joined Alex Faust and Jim Fox in the booth for the second period of a 2019 Kings-Sharks game. For those who are so inclined, I added the video of his period of commentary in its entirety. Fun fact: I missed the broadcast because I was at the 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!