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Round 2 Game 7 - Kraken vs Stars - Falling Stars

May 15, 2023, 7:20 PM ET [33 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Seattle Kraken Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Once again the Kraken came out fast and aggressive in Game 6 and after a flurry of goals from the end of the first period and into the second the Kraken continued their torrid pace on route to a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on home ice.

Tonight the Kraken will play in Dallas with the roar of the Stars home team pressing them to victory. Seattle needs to drown out those cheers and find a way early in the first period to silence them. We have seen time and time again that when the Stars are the attackers and the ones pressing, Seattle struggles to match up against them. I firmly believe that in the first 10 minutes of the game we will be able to tell if Seattle will win or lose this game.

This has been an up and down series where we really haven't seen a situation where both teams have played their best hockey. Whoever loses tonight stays home while the other advances to the Western Conference Finals to take on the Vegas Golden Knights. It's fair to assume both teams will be prepared to leave everything on the ice.

Seattle is already playing with free money. No one expected the Kraken to make the playoffs, let alone beat the Avalanche, let alone be in Game 7 of the Second Round. Meanwhile the Stars are now likely being looked at as a favorite to come out of the West should they advance. Seattle has managed their expectations excellent and haven't ever really looked like they are gripping their sticks too tightly. I don't expect that to change now.

Tolvanen is looking more and more like the best waiver pickup in recent memory for any team. 3-5-8 in 13 games thus far for Seattle and is part of an excellent shutdown line with Gourde and Bjorkstrand. Brilliant acquisition by Ron Francis.

Seattle should have a captain next season and it should absolutely be Yanni Gourde. The guy has just been such a calming presence on this roster and his on ice ability to defend some of the best in the NHL and willingness to go to the toughest areas of the ice does not go unnoticed by his teammates. Beniers might end up being the best player on this roster but Gourde's impact is easily the most respected by his teammates. I'm expecting another monster game from him.

I applaud Hakstol's willingness to play young unexperienced players in tough situations. Tye Kartye continues to look comfortable on the top line with Beniers. Most coaches would balk at the idea of playing two rookies in that kind of situation. Hakstol has thrown caution to the wind and his players are rewarding him for it.

Roope Hintz was held off the scoresheet in Game 6. That isn't a regular occurrence and you can bet the Stars top line will be pressing hard to score tonight. As has been the case all season it's going to take the full team in front of Grubauer to win this one.

Remember when some folks thought the Kraken should start Jones in Game 6? Grubauer bounced back in a huge way in that game and the veteran netminder has been in this situation multiple times before. Gru has been exceptional through these players and vastly overplayed his regular season performance, similar to what we have seen from Bobrovsky in Florida. I expect a strong game from the Kraken's netminder once again.

This team has defied expectations all season. Let's see if they've got one more in them tonight.

Thanks for reading!
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