BRANDON GUSTAFSON

After home debut, Seattle Kraken hope to make Climate Pledge Arena ‘tough building to play in’

Oct 23, 2021, 11:01 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2021, 1:27 am
Seattle Kraken...
Mark Giordano of the Seattle Kraken is congratulated by Jared McCann and Jordan Eberle after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the third period during the Kraken's inaugural home opening game at Climate Pledge Arena. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The home opener for the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena was spoiled by the Vancouver Canucks, who used a three-goal third period to come away with the 4-2 win on Saturday night.

Video: Tour inside of Climate Pledge Arena at Kraken opener

But if one thing was clear during the postgame press conferences, it was that the Seattle Kraken are thrilled with the energy of the 17,151-fan sellout crowd.

Here’s what members of the team had to say about the atmosphere at Climate Pledge Arena after the first of many Seattle Kraken home games.

Head coach Dave Hakstol

After the game, Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol was asked for his perspective on the sellout crowd and was asked if they met his expectations or if the crowd could have been even better.

“I don’t know if you can get more,” he said, laughing. “That was outstanding. That was an amazing atmosphere.”

But like a few of his players echoed after the game, Hakstol made it clear that the fans leaving the arena with a loss hurts him and the team.

“The bottom line is we wanted to reward that group in the stands with a win tonight, so it’s a sour taste walking off the rink tonight,” Hakstol said. “… They were awesome tonight.”

Captain Mark Giordano

Mark Giordano scored the go-ahead goal for the Seattle Kraken in the third period, giving the team a 2-1 lead over the Canucks.

As you might imagine, the reaction from the crowd was quite large.

“That’s right up there with anywhere,” Giordano said. “There weren’t too many moments where there was silence. Actually, there wasn’t any, to be honest. It was electric when we got the lead in the third (period).”

But not getting the win “stings,” Giordano said, especially since the Canucks won with three late goals in the third period for a comeback win.

“There’s no other way to put it right now. It stings to lose the way we did, but we’ll take a day or two between games here and there’s a lot of positives I’m sure that we’re going to pull out of that game, and then the next step obviously for our team is to close out games and extend leads,” the Kraken captain said.

The fans coming out in full force for the home opener like they did is why the loss especially hurts, Giordano said.

“That’s why it stings. We wanted that one bad,” he said. “I think you can feel the buzz in the air. The crowd, everyone was excited for that one, to be honest.”

What the Seattle Kraken fanbase showed Saturday night, Giordano said, is that Climate Pledge Arena will not be a fun place for opposing teams to visit.

“I think this is going to be a tough building to play in,” he said. “If we bring that type of energy, if our crowd gives us that type of energy, it’s going to be a tough building to come in and take points and that’s what we have to take pride in and look forward to.”

Goalie Phillip Grubauer

If there was one player who received a lot of love from Seattle Kraken fans at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday, it was goalie Phillip Grubauer, who was rewarded with his 25 saves and play with loud “Groooooo” chants.

“I loved it. I think the atmosphere was incredible for a first game. Unbelievable,” Grubauer said.

While Grubauer loved how the fans came out at the home opener at Climate Pledge Arena, he wasn’t surprised by the electric atmosphere.

“We expected that from what we heard from the Seahawks games and other games in Seattle. We were super proud to play (in front of the fans),” he said. “Obviously we wanted to get a win on home ice to get this one going at home, but we’ve got to get ready for the next one and get the next one.”

Photos and video: Seattle Kraken take the ice at Climate Pledge Arena

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