The Seattle Kraken and Dallas Stars square off tonight in the Game 7, series finale. It does not get any bigger than this. No matter the outcome, this series ends tonight. One of these two are going home, the other punches their ticket to the Western Conference Finals. For the Kraken, they look to continue making history each night as they have exceeded all expectations and are writing their story in the Seattle hockey history books.
Make no mistake, the Kraken are a team of destiny.
Seattle laid a beat down on Dallas in Game 6. With their backs up against the wall they extended the series to tonight, while shifting momentum back in their direction. The entire gang showed up as it was the most complete team win this postseason for the Kraken. Every player had a role, and each guy had an impact. The Kraken’s top players were the best players on the ice, and that is what it takes to win elimination games.
Tonight we will see which team has what it takes to finish off the other. For Dallas, the star talent has shown up in spirts. They have not shown that elite level play that has crushed teams at times in the regular season. Their goalie Jake Oettinger, who is one of the very best in the NHL, has looked mediocre at best. He has not stolen a game, he has not carried his team. In fact, if Dallas had a weakness it would have to be their blueline (again if they had a weakness), and for half of this series they have dominated the Kraken forecheck and really shut down Seattle.
The focus for Game 7 for the Kraken will be on the play of their three leaders; Yanni Gourde, Jordan Eberle, and Jaden Schwartz. This trio of veterans has literally done it all for the Kraken. Between scoring goals, delivering monster hits, blocking shots, and pissing off the Dallas Stars, these guys have gotten it done. They will need to continue this tonight in order for the Kraken to win.
Yanni Gourde surprisingly leads all Kraken skaters in scoring this postseason with 4 goals, 8 assists, and 12 points. He also leads the Kraken in pissing off the most players on the opposition. Eberle leads the Kraken with 6 goals (and is second on the team with 11 points). Schwartz rounds out the group with 5 goals, 5 assists, and 10 points. Schwartz has been the most consistent forward on the Seattle roster. Tonight these three have to deliver. It’s do or die time. Let’s see how clutch our leadership group is.
The Kraken win if…
they score 4 or more goals. This is going to be a balls to the wall, barn burner. There is nothing left to prove or feel out. Both teams now know their opponent, this will come down to execution and exerting their will on the other team. It will take 4 Kraken goals to win this game. If we can light up Oettinger from the get go, we will win this series.
Gru is the first star of the game. He will need to stand on his head and withstand the Dallas attack. We know it comes in waves, and we know that they are capable of scoring in bunches. We need Gru to weather any storm and keep this Dallas team to 3 or fewer goals. Truth; we need to Grubauer to be the best player on the ice tonight. He dominates, Dallas goes home.
Schwartz, Brandon Tanev, Yanni Gourde, and Adam Larsson score. The Kraken can score, and these guys have been difference makers all series. Dallas most likely is focused on shutting down and matching up against our top line (Ty Kartye-Matty Beniers-Jordan Eberle) which is why our depth is key. If these guys get the matchups we want, they can fill the net with pucks. Let’s go boys!
they play their game. If they play Kraken hockey. It’s as simple as that. Control the puck, use your speed to forecheck the crap out of the Stars in their own zone, create turnovers deep in the attack zone, and score dirty goals. Use our depth to create lineup matchups that will keep Dallas up at night this offseason. Release the Kraken.
The Stars win if…
they score more than 4 goals. They have the star power to do it. We need to make sure that they are playing from behind, and that we are keeping the pucks to the outside. Dallas does not play well unless they are asserting their dominance in front of the crease. All of their goals seem to come as the result of a screen or Pavelski banging in a 2nd or 3rd chance rebound.
Oettinger is the best player for either team. He has been chased out of the net in 2 games in this series, so he is 100% beatable. The Kraken have solved him, and more importantly have solved the Dallas Stars. If tonight is the night for Oettinger and he suddenly is Superman, it’s going to be over fast.
Jamie Benn, Pavelski, and Hintz score. It’s as simple as this; these three are dominating forces. When the Stars have won big in this series, it came from these 3. If we can keep them off of the scoreboard, we will win. If they each score, season over.
The Kraken are once again the underdogs as Game 7 will be played in Dallas. All of the pressure is on Dallas; a team that is rostered with a bunch of underachievers. This team does not have what it takes to win the Cup. Period. The pressure is on them though, so if we go out there and do what we do, we will walk away with a W, and on to the next round. I believe (please fact check me) that Tyler Seguin is the only Dallas player to ever win a Stanley Cup.
The puck drops at 5pm PT from Dallas.
I predict the Kraken win tonight 5-3.
Fear the deep!