The Seattle Kraken enter tomorrow night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche needing a win. Badly. The Kraken (0-2-1) return home in a nationally televised matchup against the Avs. This is a massive game, a revenge game for many reasons. The Avalanche are (2-0-0) are looking for a little vengeance after their first round exit from the playoffs, and for the Kraken, goalie Philipp Grubauer is most assuredly wanting to beat his former team.
This game has massive implications (and not the buying a boat type), most notably the early season command of the Western Conference. The Avalanche have already positioned themselves ahead of the pack and are undefeated. Must be the new addition to the coaching staff, assistant Toby Petersen; my guy knows his hockey. Great coach.
The Kraken are looking to get their first win of the season and will have the home ice advantage tomorrow night. Let’s take a look at the top 3 Keys to Victory for Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche.
The Seattle Kraken need to handle the Avalanche star power
The Kraken needing a W might have their hands full tonight when they take on an Avs team loaded with super star talent. The biggest key to victory tonight is taking care of Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen. I mention these three because they are arguably 3 out of the top 10 players in the world, and they all play for the Avs.
How do you shut down one of them, yet alone all three? Well, with a little luck for starters, but effort and the lines need to be firing on all cylinders. The Kraken need to look at what worked for them last postseason and go back to that. They need to get physical with the Colorado forwards. This could be tough with Brandon Tanev missing from the lineup for the next few weeks, but the defense is solid, and they have the guys to stay on top of the Avs’ studs.
The Kraken will need another solid game from Jamie Oleksiak and Vince Dunn. I honestly do not see Seattle keeping them all off of the scoreboard, but if they can limit this dangerous trio to 2 goals, they will have a chance at coming out on top.
Seattle Kraken offense needs to wake up
This has been the biggest question mark this season; what is wrong with the offense? They have scored 2 goals in three games. That as they say, ain’t going to cut the mustard. Tomorrow evening needs to be the night that the offense wakes up and gets things going. I have mentioned the need for the Kraken ‘star’ players to come through, but let’s look for scoring from the unexpected players; the depth guys.
The way I see it, Colorado will be doing everything they can to keep Seattle’s top players mired in their slump and open the perfect opportunity for depth line players to get on the scoreboard. The Kraken have the ability (or we did last season) to roll any line out against any opposing line, on any night. Let’s see if that is still true. I want to see Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Tye Kartye, or Kailer Yamamoto score tonight.
In fact, in Kailer Yamamoto’s case, let’s see the Spokane native score in front of friends and family in his homecoming game. If the depth guys can chip in a few this could lead to the first win of the season for Seattle.
Kraken goalie Phillip Grubauer needs to be the best player on the ice
This last key is fairly obvious, but I am going to say it; Philipp Grubauer needs to be the best player on the ice tomorrow (and maybe the NHL). Colorado is on a roll and the Kraken can’t find their way out of a wet paper sack (offensively). This season Grubauer has been great, in spite of taking the loss twice. Let’s be real, neither was his fault. Unless you are Dominik Hasek, no team really stands a chance to win when their team is averaging 0.66 goals per game.
Grubauer has put up respectable numbers, going 0-2-0, with a 2.55 goals against average, and a .918 save percentage. Gru has a 4-2-1 record all-time versus his former team. So he knows how to beat these guys.
If the Kraken are going to have a real chance at beating the Avs tomorrow, Grubauer will need to be lights out.
Brandon Tanev is out for the next 4-6 weeks (lower body injury)
The puck drops tomorrow at 7:00PM PDT from Climate Pledge Arena, on ESPN.
Fear the deep!