The Seattle Kraken (4-6-2) are heading to the desert for a showdown with the Arizona Coyotes (5-5-1). The Coyotes are surprisingly one of the tougher teams to play against. Well, it should not come as that much of a surprise, they are a team built for today’s NHL; young and fast. With players like superstar (and yes, I said superstar) Clayton Keller, rookie sensation Logan Cooley, and stud (when healthy) Nick Schmaltz, the Yotes quietly boast one of the best and promising young groups of forwards. Oh, and their goal Karel Vejmelka is a top 10 goalie in the league (people will find this out this season- lucky for Seattle Connor Ingram is starting), though he had been trapped in the desert playing for terrible teams.
The Kraken enter tonight’s game fresh off of a beat down by the division rival Calgary Flames. A game where really nothing went right, leaves the Kraken looking for answers. Answers to which questions? Why can’t they consistently score? What happened to the penalty kill? Where did Matty Beniers go? Is Jordan Eberle missing?
Tonight the team will look to answer all of this and more when these two teams clash in Tempe, Arizona. Let’s have a look at the top 3 Keys to Victory for Seattle Kraken at Arizona Coyotes.
Seattle needs to stop Clayton Keller
Coyotes winger Clayton Keller is a top 10 talent in the NHL. Yep, I just said that. The numbers that he puts up in the desert are incredible, all things considered. Seattle has had a tough time this season stopping marque names, and this has all the making of a repeat. The top key to a Kraken victory is keeping Keller from scoring.
This kid has amazing hands, supreme vision, and a high hockey IQ; he makes everyone around him better. In spite of his lack of size, he can beat you in so many ways. Tonight, if the Kraken are going to win, they will need to keep the puck away from Keller. Seriously, they need to play keep away. It is clear that the team is struggling clearing the house and helping their goalie out, so if the team is going to win tonight, they had better just make sure that Keller does not touch the puck.
If the Kraken can keep Keller from scoring, they should come away with a dub.
Seattle’s Joey Daccord needs to shine at his old stomping grounds
Kraken goalie Joey Daccord should get the nod tonight, for 2 reasons. The first, Grubauer lost the last game so in Kraken fashion they probably will ditch Gru and scramble for an answer in net. The second, Daccord played his college hockey at Arizona State. The former Sun Devil is probably chomping at the bit to play at his alma mater (literally, the Coyotes play at the Sun Devils’ stadium, a 5000 seat arena).
Daccord has shown flashes of being a good NHL goalie. Tonight, if he can play like he is trying to prove something, he will give the Kraken a great chance at beating the Yotes. Arizona has the ability to score in bunches, so Daccord’s hyper-aggressive approach to the game should serve Seattle well. If not for anything else, it makes for entertaining hockey.
If Daccord has a great game, Seattle should walk away with a win.
Seattle’s missing stars need to shine
I have said this, what feels like each game this season, but the Seattle Kraken’s ‘star’ players need to show up tonight if they are going to win. This means Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle need to get it going. We have seen very little from either of these two players this year. For a season that had so much promise and expectations, many of which were hitched to the Beniers-Eberle-McCann wagon, we have seen very little execution.
The main issue is the lack of production from these two players. It’s that simple. I hate to call out people (especially when I myself am not an NHL player, and these guys would both clean my clock in beer league) but the Kraken’s issues this season would be fixed if these two get it going. Tonight, if Seattle is going to win, they need some offensive production from Matty and Jordan.
The puck drops tonight at 6:00 PM PDT on ROOT-NW. Let’s get a dub!
Fear the deep!