The Seattle Kraken face off against the Dallas Stars tonight in Game 3 of Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Kraken lost Game 2 4-2. A game that was much slower than the first matchup, the Kraken looked ‘sleepy‘ in Game 2. After processing the game I have to give Dallas credit for taking the Kraken out of this one.
Majority of the game was spent played in the grit zone, that 5-foot from the boards zone that wraps around the rink, where majority of the puck battles take place. Dallas worked us, period. It made us look asleep behind the wheel.
Dallas with their speed, top end scoring, were just better. Plain and simple. The Stars’ forwards and defense made goalie Jake Oettinger look way better than he was in this game, as the Kraken could barely muster a shot on net through the first 2 periods (14 shots).
That, made this a boring game. Dallas dominated the time of possession, winning 69% of the faceoffs and outshooting the Kraken 37-27.
Seattle needs to get back to their game tonight. That intense forecheck, the speed to swarm the puck, and the tenacity to win puck battles. Kraken need to outwork the Stars and keep them trapped in their zone. Shoot high stick side on Oettinger. We can and will light him up. The secret is out; the Seattle Kraken are for real.
The focus in Game 3 for the Kraken is on the play of Vince Dunn and Jordan Eberle. Phillipp Grubauer has been the best player for Seattle but the Kraken desperately need Dunn and Eberle to keep the scoring going.
Dunn had 14 goals, 50 assists, and 64 points in the regular season, has 1 goal and 2 assists so far this postseason. He had virtually disappeared scoring wise until this series. In all fairness he does have an assist in both of the games against Dallas, but we need him to have a game tonight.
Eberle who scored 20 goals, 43 assists, and 63 points in the regular season, has 3 goals, 3 assists, and 6 points this postseason (1 goal and 2 assists against Dallas). He is showing up, and has been a difference maker. We need him to breakout and dominate tonight. Let’s see those silky smooth hands get a few goals.
The Kraken win if…
we control the time of possession. This starts with winning more faceoffs than Dallas. The Stars are really tough in the faceoff circle, we need to change that. We can control this game by crushing them with our fierce forecheck, and speed. Tonight, we need to stay true to our identity.
Grubauer can weather the storm. Dallas is a team that is very streaky with their offense. If Gru can stand on his head and keep the Stars off of the board, we will win. Grubauer can not do it alone, and the defense will need to keep the house clear and give Gru time to see pucks. Let’s go Gru!
Matty Beniers, Yanni Gourde, and Eberle score. We are at home and have the fans and the city behind us. Score early and ruin Dallas’s night.
The Stars win if…
Oettinger is lights out. I believe the Kraken will put much more pressure on Dallas tonight and generate more scoring chances. If Oettinger has a Vezina performance it could be enough to take the wind out of our sails. The hockey playoffs are about who’s hot and who has the momentum. Do not let Oettinger give them the momentum.
the Stars second line (Jamie Benn, Wyatt Johnston, and Evgeni Dadonov) win their matchups. This is the difference maker in this series, I wholeheartedly believe this. This line is good enough to be the top line on most teams. We do not matchup well with these 3. If they are the top players on the ice, the Kraken lose.
Joe Pavelski continues to tear us apart. He is just so good. All he does is score big goals when his team needs him most. Keep his sneaky butt out of the house and do not give him opportunities to snipe. He will make us pay.
Game 3 should have much more scoring and the Kraken should be more electric with the home fans behind them. The puck drops at 6:30pn PT from Climate Pledge Arena.
Fear the deep!