The Seattle Kraken face off against the Dallas Stars tonight in Game 1 of Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Seattle defeated the Cup Champs 2-1 in Game 7. Seattle did not pull off an ‘upset’ as they clearly outplayed the Avs for majority of the series. This team is once again viewed by many as the underdog in this series. Dallas should be feeling the pressure, not these Kraken.
Dallas is loaded with talent. They have probably the deepest roster in the NHL. Each of their lines can score. Their goaltending is tops in the league. They do not have a weakness. Period. Defensemen Miro Heiskanen should be considered for the Norris Trophy.
Goalie Jake Oettinger is the best goalie in the playoffs, and is going to be near impossible to beat. The Dallas offense is loaded with goal scorers, speed, and two-way talent.
Where does this get good for the Kraken? Well, it doesn’t. Dallas is here for a reason. They look primed to make a legit run at a Stanley Cup Championship. Ugly truth here.
So how do we stack up? This is the opportunity of a lifetime for some of these Kraken players and we need to play like it. The advantage that we have on Dallas is playoff experience. We have a locker room that knows how to win (Cups). Philipp Grubauer, Jaden Schwartz, Vince Dunn, Yanni Gourde, and Justin Schultz all have their names etched in the Cup (technically André Burakovsky does as well, but he is not playing). Jordan Eberle, Martin Jones, Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, and Brandon Tanev have all played in previous Game 7’s (prior to last night). The team knows how to win.
The mindset heading into this series and Game 1 can be summed up with the phrase even flow. Do not get too high or too low. One shift at a time. The Kraken need to accept game situations instead of trying to control or alter it. Short memory. Score a big goal or win a game, on to the next. Allow a bad goal or lose a game, on to the next. Even flow.
Fitting coming from the Seattle Kraken. Shout out to Eddie Vedder.
The Kraken win if…
Grubauer plays lights out. He needs to keep the Dallas Stars off of the scoreboard. With the Stars’ scoring depth, the final line of defense is Grubauer. If he can dominate this game as he did in Game 7 against the Avs, the Kraken will have a real shot at winning Game 1.
the forecheck and speed can keep the puck in the Dallas zone for most of the night. Dallas is going to score goals. It is what they do. The way to slow down their attack or stop it is to dominate the time of possession. The Kraken are at their best when they forecheck and use their speed to control possession and create scoring chances.
they can solve Jake Oettinger. He is just so good. So good. If the Kraken can get a few goals early, they will take this game. The trick is getting the puck past this stud. He isn’t going to make it easy. Stick to what we do best and crowd the net, and bang in a rebound.
The Stars win if…
Oettinger plays like the top goalie that he is. He is capable of single handedly beating us. If he keeps us to 2 or fewer goals we are toast tonight. The kid is incredible, and he just keeps getting better.
the depth players score 2 or more goals. The Stars are going to score, and their top talent is going to do it. If they get extra goals from the guys who shouldn’t be scoring this game and series will be over quickly.
Jaime Benn dominates this game. He might just be the key to the Stars winning. The top line will get all of the attention and focus of the Kraken. Jaime Benn could end up scoring a lot of dirty goals. We can not let him do this.
The puck drops tonight at 6:30pm PT from Dallas. Get on these guys early!
Fear the deep!