Happy Sunday Kraken fans! Unfortunately this week was the complete opposite of happy as the team has sadly been on a four game losing streak. It started a week ago when they suffered a loss at the hands of the NHL’s worst in the Arizona Coyotes. Let’s take a look back at the week that was:
Quick strikes cost Kraken in Vegas, lose 4-2 (11/9/21)
In the first period, Seattle was able to get a 1-0 lead at the 4:49 mark thanks to Jordan Eberle’s seventh goal of the season on the power play. Eberle corralled a rebound from Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner and backhanded it into the open net. Later on in the period, Alex Pietrangelo tied things up late as he skated to the high slot and placed a shot above Kraken goalie Chris Driedger’s shoulder to make the score 1-1 heading into period two.
Things were very even for most of the period between the two teams however, scoring got pretty wild within the last seconds of the period. Seattle got a goal from Yanni Gourde at the 19:29 mark as he would get a pass from Brandon Tanev that would beat goalie Robin Lehner on his glove side for his third of the season. Seattle thought they would carry a lead into the next period but unfortunately they were wrong. Fifteen seconds later, Evgenii Dadonov jammed at a loose puck near the crease and buried it in to tie the game up 2-2.
Early on in period three, Reilly Smith gave the Golden Knights their first lead of the game as he tipped in a shot from the point by Shea Theodore. Smith wouldn’t be done scoring as he extended his team’s lead to 4-2 on the power play less than a minute later. Smith deflected in a one-touch pass from Jonathan Marchessault into an open net for his second of the game and fourth goal of the season. Vegas held on to win by a final of 4-2.
Got bit by the Ducks, lose 7-4 (11/11/21)
The first period saw a Ducks team dominate the Kraken on the shot counter and in offensive chances. Fortunately for Seattle, they held Anaheim to only one goal. Mason McTavish scored off of failed clearing attempt by Vince Dunn. Dunn tried clearing the puck except it hit McTavish’s shin guard and into the back of the net for the goal. Talk about bad puck luck and being down 1-0 after the first period.
Troy Terry has kept his hot start to the season going for Anaheim by scoring his tenth goal of the season early in period two at the 3:10 mark. Terry would use a pair of Kraken as a screen and fired a shot under goalie Philipp Grubauer’s blocker and extended his point streak to thirteen games. Jaden Schwartz cut the lead to 2-1 as he’d find himself all alone at the hash marks and buried the puck high-blocker side thirty five seconds after the previous Ducks goal. A few minutes later, James Mahura fired a heavy slap shot top shelf to make it 3-1 in favor of the Ducks. James McCann had a different idea a minute later by getting the game back within one as Ryan Donato banked a pass off of his skate to cut the deficit to 3-2. At the 15:46 mark, Kevin Shattenkirk fired a shot from the circle that leaked through Grubauer’s arm which extended the Ducks lead to 4-2 heading into the third period.
Early on in the third period, Jordan Eberle joined Alex Wennberg on a two-on-one, received a pass at the hashmarks and fired a shot that just beat Ducks goalie John Gibson. Six minutes later saw Hampus Lindholm flinging a wrist shot from the point that went through five bodies and into the back of the net giving the Ducks their two goal lead back and making the score 5-3. Except, Jared McCann had other plans as he one-timed a shot to beat John Gibson a minute later to get the Kraken back within one. Unfortunately for Seattle, the Anaheim Ducks were able to shut the door and got two empty net goals from Sam Carrick and Troy Terry to seal the 7-4 victory in favor of their team.
Pitlick hat trick propels Wild to victory over Kraken 4-2 (11/13/21)
The first period was a low shooting period as the Wild held a 6-3 shots advantage. Minnesota did get on the board first as Rem Pitlick scored his first NHL goal. Pitlick raced to the far post as he collected Ryan Hartman’s pass and redirected the puck into the back of the net. His goal would give the Wild a 1-0 lead after the first period.
Pitlick would not be done scoring as the youngster scored twice in period two to complete his very first hat trick in the NHL On Potluck’s second goal, Seattle turned the puck over at center ice which allowed Pitlick to get all alone on a breakaway. Pitlick got free again on a breakaway, shifted his shoulders, and scored to complete the natural hat trick. The Wild held a 3-0 lead after the second period.
Marcus Johansson finally got the Kraken on the board as he scored his first of the season and with his new team on the power play at the mid-way mark of the third period. Seattle pulled their goalie early with about five minutes left to try and get back into the game but, Nico Strum added an empty net goal to make ir 4-1 in favor of the Wild. Alex Wennberg did score with a little over a minute left in the game but, unfortunately it was too late as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Seattle Kraken by a final score of 4-2
How’s it Kraken? My thoughts on the week that was
The past week has been a tough week for the Kraken. From watching, the goaltending and defense hasn’t been very good at all. Philipp Grubauer hasn’t been looking like the Vezina nominee he was a year ago especially with some soft goals. being let in. Hopefully, he can turn things around soon as we all know he’s capable of being one of if not the best goaltender in the league. Defensively, the Kraken have been out of position on goals lately. Giving up two breakaway goals in a game against the Wild is an example one of the things that have been going wrong lately for the Kraken. The forwards and defenseman have to start doing a better job in supporting their goaltenders by blocking shots, marking up at the point, getting sticks in shooting/passing lanes, and being where they are supposed to be. Can’t have soft goals going in either and the goalies need to work on not allowing those.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again ad nauseam but, not having an x-factor or dynamic type of scorer is not helping this team. The Kraken have some solid guys on the team that can put the puck in the back of the net, don’t get me wrong here. However, you clearly see a difference when other teams have to defend against guys like Alex Ovechkin, Sydney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, and especially Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. They put fear into other teams before they even step foot on the ice and it’s clearly something that’s missing with this team. Hopefully at some point the Kraken can acquire their own kind of talent like that either through the draft or trade/free agency.
If the Kraken can tighten up defensively, get better play from their goalies, and start putting the puck in the back of the net, they have a shot at turning things around in a weak Pacific Division. They’ve got to get “Kraken” soon and right away if they want to get their ship back on the right track. That’s it for this weeks edition of Kraken Weekly…stay tuned Seattle!