The Seattle Kraken face off against the Dallas Stars tonight in Game 4 of Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Kraken won Game 3, 7-2. A game that finally showed what the Kraken can do, started slow before the fireworks. The 5-goal second period by the Kraken was too much for Dallas’ star goalie Jake Oettinger.
Dallas as well as the rest of the hockey world are quickly finding out that the Kraken are for real. This team is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. I honestly do not see us losing to any of the remaining teams, in a best-of-seven series. We are just too deep, and too fast for the rest of the NHL. Plus, the face of the franchise, goalie Phillipp Grubauer is the best goalie in the NHL, right now.
When I say right now, I mean this postseason, when it matters most. So save the ‘but his regular season numbers, blah, blah, blah’. He is the fixer for the Kraken. They needed goalie help heading toward the end of the regular season, and Gru has emerged as the guy.
Having watched Oettinger a lot the past two seasons (my wife had him on her fantasy team), I can see why experts gush over him. This series, we have seen very little of what makes him so good. Is it the Kraken and their depth? Or is it that he is not as good as everybody says?
I do not think its the latter. Otter is incredible, the Kraken are just playing like a team of destiny. A lot of hockey analysts are comparing us to Vegas and their inaugural season. I do not think we are anything like them, at all. Aside from being the newest team in the league, we aren’t a bunch of jerks with a horribly ignorant fanbase. Let’s be real here; Vegas has the trashiest fans in the NHL.
I do not believe that any real hockey fans are friends with a Golden Knights fan. I mean like a real fan of the team. They are the most annoying and weirdest fan base in sports.
Sorry, not sorry.
Game 4’s focus is on the importance of goalie Phillipp Grubauer. For the Kraken to win this game and put Dallas on their heels, Gru needs to play like he has all series. I honestly do not think that he fears anything that Dallas does. The few goals that he has allowed, he looked as cool as a cucumber afterwards. He shows no signs of panic, and is damn near stoic all game. In Game 3 he made huge save after huge save. That alone can win the momentum in a series and take the wind out of the sails of a team.
Tonight’s game should be a much tighter game than Game 3. Both teams are going to make massive adjustments. The special teams will be key, as well as time of possession.
The Kraken win if…
the huge Kraken defensemen all have a game. We will need Jamie Oleksiak, Carson Soucy, Will Borgen, Vince Dunn, Adam Larsson, and Justin Schultz to shutdown the Dallas attack. Clearing out the shooting and passing lanes, keeping the house clear, and jumping on rebounds. These six all could start on any team in the league. Let’s push their attack to the outside and let them rot.
Brandon Tanev, Jordan Eberle, and Alex Wennberg get on the scoreboard. In some form or another, create goals. If these guys set up a goal, or put one in the back of the net, the Kraken will win. Tanev is so damn fun to watch . Ugh, love this guy.
Matty Beniers has the best game of his career. We need him to win faceoffs, play defense, and contribute to scoring. We need him to be a number one center. Period. No team in the past 30 years has won a Stanley Cup without elite goaltending and a number one center. Right now Grubauer has his part covered, Matty needs to elevate and win.
The Stars win if…
Oettinger returns to form. If Otter isn’t suffering from PTSD after Game 3’s second period, he could shift the momentum and steal this game. Both team will be playing tighter so expect Oettinger to rebound. Let’s hope we can get on him early.
Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, and Jason Robertson score. Robertson has been more or less silent this series after having a career year (the best in Stars history with 109 points). If he suddenly is an elite player, we are in major trouble. Jamie Benn is mean and can score. Pavelski is just a freaking stud. We need to stop them today, All three are gamers and could light us up.
they control time of possession and out ‘physical’ us. They are not in panic mode yet, but you can’t tell me that the players in the locker room aren’t feeling the pressure. The end of Game 3 we saw tensions boiling and players getting ‘crappy’ with each other. If they can keep it together and take it out on the Kraken in a clean way, they could make us pay. We need to out hit them and set the tone.
Dallas is super deep, and just as tough as we are. They also have more star talent. We need to stick to our game and put them away, tonight. Miro Heiskanen’s status is uncertain, for now. Pay attention to this, as his role and skill are tops in the league.
The puck drops at 6:30pm PT from Climate Pledge Arena. We have the fans behind us, let’s get it done!
Fear the deep!