The puck drops in sunny Florida in less than an hour, as the Seattle Kraken (2-4-2) take on the Panthers (3-3-0). Both teams enter this early afternoon game (for us anyway) middle of the pack teams. The Kraken are coming off of a tough overtime loss to the Hurricanes, but were fortunate to still come away with a point in the standings. The Panthers are currently 6th in the Atlantic Division, while the Kraken are 5th in the Pacific Division.
Both teams look to get a win and 2 points in the standings. A matchup that could feature some fireworks, both teams have the ability to lit up the other. Goaltending and defense will be tested in this one. Let’s take a look at the 3 Keys to Victory for Seattle Kraken at Florida Panthers.
The Kraken need to neutralize Matthew Tkachuk
Sure, the Panthers are loaded with scorers (Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe) but Tkachuck is the MAN in south Florida, and the straw that stirs the drink. He can do it all. Hit, make plays, and score huge goals. If the Kraken are going to beat this squad, it is going to start with taking care of the threat that Tkachuk poses. This is the single biggest key to winning this game.
So how do the Kraken do this? They start with making sure Jamie Oleksiak is on the ice when he is. Oleksiak is big, can hit, and is more than capable of shutting Tkachuk down. Seattle needs to blanket Tkachuk with Oleksiak. Do not let him get low in the offensive zone, and keep the crease clear for whoever is in the net (probably Joey Daccord). If the Kraken can keep Tkachuk off the board, they should be able to come away with a win.
Matty Beniers needs to score
It’s time for Matty Beniers to turn the corner this season, and put his early season slump behind him. The reigning rookie of the year has experienced what at this point would be considered a sophomore slump. Nah, he’s legit, and he’s for real. Beneirs is the only real star in this team and tonight he needs to play like it. This season he has yet to score a goal, and has 3 assists in 8 games. Tonight is the night he gets it done.
The best teams in the NHL, typically have a top center and top end goaltending. Beniers has the ability to be a top NHL center. He has proven this with his elite 2-way play and scoring ability. If Beniers can score today, the Kraken should get a win.
Kraken goaltending needs to be elite
The Panthers and score and the Kraken have struggled to score all season. The answer here is simple, the Kraken goalies need to be elite. The team seems to be riding the hot hand, and giving Joey Daccord the past few starts. Last game he played great. A little too aggressive at times for my liking, but he has delivered the majority of the time. The team has not confirmed which goalie will be starting tonight, so keep watch if you have either on your fantasy team.
Whichever goalie is in net needs to make all of the saves that they should, and then most of the ones that they shouldn’t. Either Grubauer or Daccord (does not really matter, they are both average majority of the time) needs to step up and get us a win tonight. If Seattle’s goalies play well tonight the Kraken should come away with a win.
Brandon Tanev- IR (OUT)- Lower Body Injury
Andre Burakovsky- OUT- Upper Body Injury
The puck drops in about 30 minutes on ROOT-NW. Let’s get a dub tonight boys!
Fear the deep!