The last time we left the Seattle Kraken, they had suffered defeat at the hand of the Minnesota Wild 4-2. It was their fourth loss in a row at the time. Unfortunately the losing streak continued as they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche this week to make it six consecutive losses in a row. Let’s take a look back at the week that was:
Come close at the end, lose to Blackhawks 4-2 (11/17/21)
Dominated by the Avalanche (11/19/21)
How’s it Kraken? My thoughts on the week
I said before the season started that I thought the Kraken had a shot of making the playoffs this year in a weak Pacific division. However, I did say there were question marks that could prevent that possibility from happening and it looks like those questions are being answered. Throughout this losing streak the Kraken haven’t been able to score, defend very well, and aren’t getting very good goaltending in particular from Philipp Grubauer. The play of Grubauer in recent weeks has been alarming. From my observations, you can tell ever since his playoff performance last season with the Avalanche that it has weighed on him a little bit. You also get a sense so far this season that confidence in his own abilities has taken a hit as well. Philipp Grubauer has the capability of being one of the best goaltenders in the National Hockey League as shown by has Vezina worthy performances and nomination last season. Hopefully he can work things out, hit the reset button, and get back to playing lights out in between the pipes like we all know how he can.
The defense has been struggling lately as well. I think it goes hand and hand with my next point which is there’s a clear lack of offense. When your offense doesn’t score enough & your defense has to defend a lot, it can be a recipe for disaster…plain and simple.
Offensively, the Kraken have some very solid two way players that can score a bit and put the puck in the back of the net. However, what they have from the current group is not enough. This group definitely lacks an X-Factor, someone that creates offense and causes havoc every single night ie like a McDavid, Draisaitl, Ovechkin, Crosby & etc. When you look back at the expansion draft, this really isn’t a surprise that scoring is a problem with this team. Seattle could’ve taken big names like a Vladimir Tarasenko or a Carey Price but didn’t. The Kraken took a long term approach versus a try to win now and roll the dice one like the Vegas Golden Knights. They took the philosophy of using salary cap space as a weapon to acquire high end talent from cap stricken teams and didn’t want to use their cap space immediately. It’s definitely the opposite of the Vegas Golden Knights who try to win now and are currently struggling with the salary cap.
Some of us thought (myself included) that this team had a shot to make the playoffs in a very weak Pacific division with the solid defense and goaltending. However, things changed as the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings have emerged as serious contenders in the division with their young talent playing lights out early on in the season. Those circumstances certainly changed things besides the Kraken not playing very well at all lately. Maybe if those circumstances don’t arrive, maybe the Kraken are still in a playoff spot but the reality is they’re not. Also, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for Seattle with a lot of tough teams they’ll be playing in the next week who have very good all around teams with dynamic talent such as the Capitals, Hurricanes, Panthers, and the Lightning. For now just enjoy the ride with the team good or bad and hopefully start putting some wind together…stay tuned Seattle!