Time to panic? Here’s what can be learned from last 2 Kraken losses
Nov 15, 2022, 1:14 PM | Updated: Feb 5, 2023, 3:39 pm
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
It was a week ago that the Seattle Kraken were sitting on a franchise-best five-game win streak. But over the weekend they came up short twice and suddenly the win streak feels like it was a long time ago.
Losing two in a row is not cause for panic in an 82-game season, but it’s worth an eye raise as they look to finish off their homestand with three more at Climate Pledge Arena this upcoming week.
Seattle has a respectable 8-5-3 record, which is good enough for third in the Pacific Division and their goal differential is a plus-seven. They are in a good position with plenty of games to go. Looking at the last two losses, there may not be a reason for alarm but their upcoming schedule is tough so there will need to be some better play to avoid a prolonged losing streak.
Here’s a look at the two losses and what can be learned from them.
Friday, Wild 1 Kraken 0
Coming a week after the Kraken shut out the Wild 4-0 in Minnesota, the Wild got some revenge. The Wild took a lead and leaned on their defense and goalie to hold off a Seattle attack, which included a 16-shot third period.
Kraken give up late goal in regulation, fall 3-2 to Jets in OT
Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was great, stopping all 28 shots he faced and picked up a shutout against an NHL-record 28th different team over his career.
The Kraken had their chances but were 0-4 on the power play.
“Power play wise, probably what stands out, is I think we I think we lost each opening faceoff,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “The puck is down the ice 200 feet each time and that puts the PK into a good spot to start each one of those. You’re gonna have nights where that’s how it goes for the power play we for sure want to be better there.”
The power play not scoring played a role, but sometimes you have to tap your stick to the other team. Minnesota did a good job of not only killing penalties but they made it tough for Seattle to get into the zone and once the Kraken were able to get a shot off, the Wild defensive group cleared pucks and didn’t allow the Kraken to follow up on chances. The Wild got in the way of chances as well, blocking 22 shots on the night.
“We’ve got to find more shots on the inside,” Kraken forward Yanni Gourde said after. “There was definitely a lot of outside plays. We’ve got to find seconds, find rebounds, we’ve got to be net front. If that goalie sees the puck, he’s going to stop it. We’ve got to make his game harder.”
The Kraken did not play badly in this game and just maybe ran into a goalie on top of his game and a defense playing well in front of him.
Seattle did kill off all three of Minnesota’s power plays on the night which was the sixth straight game that they didn’t allow a power-play goal against. Not scoring isn’t great but sometimes a game like this happens in the NHL. It was the first time that the Kraken have been shut out this season and ended a streak where they scored three or more a game.
So, a disappointing result for sure, but no reason for Seattle to change what they’re doing or redo the system.
Sunday, Jets 3 Kraken 2 in OT
The Kraken earned a point in the standings against Winnipeg on Sunday but should have won the game in regulation and had two standings points. Leading 2-1 with 26 seconds left, Seattle’s Carson Soucy lost his cool while jousting with Pierre-Luc Dubois and punched the Jets winger in the back of the head.
With their goalie pulled, that gave the jets a 6-on-4 power play. They got the puck to the net and crashed in close where Blake Wheeler was able to get his stick on it and score with four seconds left to tie the game.
It's not every day you score a buzzer beater. It's also not every day you score your 300th NHL goal. Tonight, Blake Wheeler did BOTH.
A good day at the office. 👏 pic.twitter.com/fg8VAVH0e5
— NHL (@NHL) November 14, 2022
The overtime didn’t last long as Mark Scheifele won it less than a minute in when he scored on a two-on-one chance.
Fleury posts 72nd career shutout, Wild edge Seattle Kraken 1-0
It was a frustrating loss for Seattle as they were so close to winning. The Kraken had plenty of chances to put the game away earlier. They took seven penalties and allowed two power-play goals, including the game-tying score.
Discipline was an issue but Seattle still had chances. Three times during regulation the Kraken shooters beat Winnipeg goalie David Rittich but hit the post. This was highlighted by Brandon Tanev’s breakaway attempt the hit the crossbar and was just inches away from being a goal.
“That stinks, and just seven penalties, myself included, it’s just not understanding the situation,” forward Jordan Eberle said. “That hurts just when you have the game, and obviously (Martin) Jones is playing well back there, you keep giving them opportunities. Yeah, that hurts. Those are never ones that you, you know, they’re tough to get over.”
It was a loss that didn’t need to happen and the Kraken left chances on the ice as well as playing without a lot of discipline.
On the positive side, Jones played well in goal and they probably should have had two or three more goals of their own. Again, no reason to panic just yet.
The road ahead
After two losses, the Kraken will have a challenge if they want to put it behind them and get back to winning. If they can and finish the homestand strong, the two weekend losses can be easily forgotten. If the losses start to pile up it may be time to reassess where the team is at.
Thursday, they’ll have their hands full with the New York Rangers. It could be another tight-scoring game with the Rangers featuring one of the best goaltenders the league has in Igor Shesterkin. Saturday, the Los Angeles Kings come to Seattle looking for revenge from an early 4-1 loss to the Kraken in the season’s second game.
It won’t be easy but the Kraken have a shot at wiping away the taste of two close defeats and get themselves back on the winning track.
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