Seattle Kraken, Buffalo Sabres

Seattle Kraken Look for a Bounce Back

The Seattle Kraken are coming off an early season disappointment with a 5-4 loss in Chicago in a game they should have won against the Blackhawks on Sunday. The Kraken were in control before a mini-meltdown in their own end in the second half of the third period cost them the game.

“Closing out a game, a one-goal lead, is kind of an art,” Kraken center Matty Beniers said Tuesday morning after Seattle’s morning skate. “You all have to be committed and as you guys saw, we kind of … two goals in thirteen seconds, we kind of let off the gas a little bit and you just can’t do it. Every team is good, every team has goal scorers that can make you pay for mistakes.”

A blown game doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you contemplate the team’s actual record compared to what it could have been. Crazy how much better 3-2-and-2 sounds than the reality of 2-3-and-2. The bigger key is the recovery, and how well the team handles the surprisingly good Buffalo Sabres squad that has started the season with a record of 4-and-1.

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The Sabres swept through Alberta and British Columbia, a rare feat, with wins over the Edmonton Oilers (4-2), Calgary (6-3) Flames, and Vancouver Canucks (5-1) in succession. Not too shabby. The Sabres morning skate Tuesday at the Climate Pledge Arena was light and relaxed.

“Any confident, loosey feeling is really uncomfortable, I’ll tell you that, in this business, as we all know,” Sabres Head Coach Don Granato said. “It’s nice when your guys are confident and comfortable when they look to the right and left and in front of them and they see players they believe in. They believe in their ability, they believe in their drive to succeed … the guys love being around one another, there’s a lot of care, they don’t want to let each other down, and that’s been a key for us to continue to grow.”

Growth being key for a young hockey club that presents some unique up and coming talents. Kraken center Beniers’s college teammate at Michigan, the player taken just ahead of him at 1st-overall in the NHL Draft two summers ago, defenseman Owen Power, being one of them. 2018 1st-overall Rasmus Dahlin is another defenseman who’s already established himself at age 22 and seems to be getting better every week.

The Sabres lost their one and only previous visit to Seattle 5-2 back on November 4th, 2021, the same day they traded their captain Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights.

“We allowed them to surprise us last year,” Granato said, “I don’t think we were ready at puck drop when we were in here and that’s in our guys’ heads, they know they have to respect this team, this building tonight, or it’s gonna be messy again for us as it was last year.”

Eric Comrie starts in net for the Sabres while Martin Jones gets the nod for the Kraken. Joey Daccord will serve as back-up. Philipp Grubauer was placed on seven-day retroactive injured reserve dating back to Friday, October 21st.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.