The Seattle Kraken won Game 1 last night in overtime 5-4, taking an early series lead. The Dallas Stars looked caught off guard as the Kraken scored 3 goals in 52 seconds and led at the end of the first period 4-2. The matchup between two heavyweights delivered and both teams fired haymakers in the first period.
The Kraken answered the question ‘how do we beat goalie Jake Oettinger’? Shoot high on his stick side. In spite of the Dallas depth and scoring ability the Kraken were able to play their game and came out on top. All of this talk about the Kraken’s speed and forecheck being the identity of this team, was true. We were able to keep Dallas on their heels even with Joe ‘The Big’ Pavelski scoring 4 goals.
Side note- Brandon Tanev is so much fun to watch. Dude is super fast and just sets the tone. Follow his lead fellas and play at Tanev speed.
Dallas proved that they can score at will. This series is going to go back and forth with all of the shooters on these squads. Early in a series both teams are in the ‘feeling out’ phase and are looking to impose their will on the other team. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent falls is a part of ‘feeling out’ as well. The Kraken played chess with the Avs until Game 3, when both teams really opened up the scoring. They settled back into their matchups the rest of the series.
In this game we saw 6 goals in the first period. Two big points to consider; most of those goals were scored after sloppy possession by the other team, and all of the goals were the finish of what both teams do well.
What do I mean by this? Take a look at the 6 first period goals. They followed sloppy play by the other team, and the Stars/Kraken capitalizing on it. If you inspect how the goals were scored, each goal is reflective of what these teams and players do well.
Both of Dallas’ first period goals were vintage Pavelski. Positioned in the ‘house’ (high scoring area in front of the net), Pavelski scored a dirty goal and followed up with a redirect in front of the net. Dude is super clutch.
All 4 of the Seattle goals came from different players, mirrors what we have done all season. Getting goals from everybody. If you look at our goals they came deep in the zone and were the result of working hard and gaining possession.
Dallas did make a final push and it looked like they were going to pull this one off. They had all of the momentum heading into overtime, and the Kraken could not seem to find an answer for Joe Pavelski. That was until Yanni Gourde won the game.
This is why Gourde is so valuable to the Kraken. The guy is a gamer and knows how to win. He shows up big on the biggest stage. He has already got 2 Cups with Tampa and it looks like his winning pedigree is rubbing off on Seattle.
Goalie Phillipp Grubauer was as good as we needed him to be. He was tested early and looked sharp, even though he surrendered 2 first period goals. Gru settled, Dallas made another surge, the game went to overtime. For the Kraken to win the series Grubauer will need to be our best player. Plain and simple.
I am sticking with my prediction that the Kraken will win this series in 7-games. It is important to remember two things; the series is a marathon not a race- no series is won after the first game. And even flow- Not too high, not too low. Stay focused on the final goal and take each game 1 shift at at time.
The Kraken and Stars continue the drama tomorrow night in Dallas. Expect another exciting night in Big D.
Fear the deep!