Quite the radical contrast in items in this Kraken pregame, but unfortunately, it is what it is, and we wish it wasn’t.
Kraken Vs. Pavelski
Veteran forward Joe Pavelski has five goals against the Kraken through the first two games in this Western Conference Semi-final. Of course, the 38-year-old tallied four of those goals in Game-1, a match lost by his Dallas Stars in overtime 5-4.
Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn, formerly with the St. Louis Blues, knows the former San Jose Sharks forward well, having battled Pavelski in the same conference since Dunn entered the NHL in 2017.
“I think he’s just so smart away from the puck,” Dunn said of Pavelski on Sunday morning. “I wouldn’t say he’s the quickest guy out there, but the way he finds areas to score, both secondary and primary ways, he’s someone I don’t really pay attention to and he sneaks up on you every time. I don’t think he’s talked about enough in this whole entire league, he doesn’t really get the recognition he should. I think he’s a huge reason why they’ve had success in recent years and definitely a guy we’ve gotta watch out for the rest of the series.”
Pavelski joined the Stars as a free agent in the summer of 2019 after thirteen seasons with the Sharks. He has Hockey Hall of Fame credentials with 1,250 regular season games played, 449 goals and 1,001 points.
Pavelski has been to two Stanley Cup Finals, most recently in 2020 when Dallas lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He and the Sharks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Final in 2016.
The NHL public relations department threw out a fun tidbit on Sunday morning. Pavelski can become the 5th player age-38 or older in league history to have a three-game goal scoring streak in the postseason, joining Teemu Selanne, Brendan Shanahan, Ray Bourque, and Doug Gilmour.
“He’s a great player, he’s a great pro, he’s been in the league a long time, very, very effective, very competitive player,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said Sunday morning.
The Kraken will attempt to avoid having Pavelski sneak up on them Sunday night. He’s one of the best shot deflectors in the history of the game. It’s how he scored his 2nd goal on Tuesday night in Game-1, while his 4th goal came when he batted in a puck near the right goalpost.
The Texas Shooting
Saturday afternoon, 35 miles north of Dallas in Allen, Texas, a man decided too kill nine innocent bystanders at an outlet mall and wound a dozen others. The shooter was killed by police.
The incident obviously hit close to home for the Stars hockey club and head coach Pete Deboer, who pointed out that the mall where the tragedy occurred is a place where he and many others have shopped.
“Before I start, I just want to acknowledge how heartbroken we are about the mass shooting in Allen, Texas,” DeBoer said Sunday. “It hits really close to home, obviously. Just tragic. Frankly, when you hear victims as young as five years old, you get tired of hearing it.
“When you hear Sandy Hook (Connecticut), Parkland (Florida) and Nashville, unless it’s in your backyard, you compartmentalize it and put it aside,” he continued, “and then when it happens in your backyard, you realize the horror of it. I don’t pretend to know the answer on how to fix it, but it’s too great a country and there’s too many intelligent people not to do something about it. Just horrific.”
Editor’s/Author’s note: During our Kraken coverage of Game-1 and Game-2 in Dallas, I actually stayed Wednesday night with an old friend and his girlfriend in Allen. Saturday afternoon I texted them immediately upon hearing the news and found out they had been at the mall and left about an hour before the shooting. Relieved at first, I then realized that just because it wasn’t my loved ones wiped out, it shouldn’t lesson the impact of the tragedy even for me. My condolences to all of the families and friends of the victims. Stop the madness!