Seattle Kraken Still Respect New Jersey Devils As a Top-Notch Team Despite Their Inconsistencies

The New Jersey Devils are in Seattle to take on the Kraken for the first time this season. They are in search of their first-ever win at Climate Pledge Arena. The previous two times that were in Emerald City they were defeated 4-3 in overtime. This season has been somewhat inconsistent for the Devils but their opposition still admires their overall game.

Seattle Kraken v New Jersey Devils
Seattle Kraken v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

The Seattle Kraken have had their fair share of struggles so far this season. However, before the game, Pucks and Pitchforks had the chance to attend Kraken morning skate and ask head coach Dave Hakstol about the strategy when facing this year's Devils team compared to last year. Because the Devils are no longer an underdog, teams seem to be scouting them more meticulously. Despite their inconsistencies, Hakstol had nothing but great respect for the Devils.

"No change of structure. The first thing you have to do is respect their speed and skill. The pace of their game is as good as any team in the National Hockey League. You have to be ready and prepared for that...[We need to make sure] that we're doing things with the puck that we want to do. I have a ton of respect for their group over there."

Dave Hakstol

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While teams are better prepared for the Devils, the sentiment remains intact. Which is they are still a fast-paced unit and have certainly earned their respect throughout the league. Hakstol's comments were echoed throughout the Kraken dressing room. Former longtime Columbus Blue Jackets forward, Oliver Bjorkstrand acknowledged the difficulty of strategizing against New Jersey.

"Obviously, they have a lot of good players and skill. They take advantage of the time and have to focus on playing them close. [Which includes] winning those battles and not letting them win the one-on-ones. If you give them time and space, then that's when they take advantage of you, and you can see they score a lot of nice goals."

Oliver Bjorkstrand

The Devils are playing well, winning four of their previous five games, and everything comes down to their defensive execution. Because their offensive game is one of the best in the NHL. However, their poor lapse in defensive judgment and inconsistent goaltending have hindered them. Nico Hischier explained the defensive game plan moving forward.

"Just be more detailed in our D-zone. Don't lose our guy and box out. Make the goalie see the puck and make him do the save."

Nico Hischier

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