Seattle Kraken, Karson Kuhlman

Kraken Shift Diary: Karson Kuhlman, Just For Fun

He’s only played 11 games for the Seattle Kraken this season and he’s scoreless in his last five. Keep in mind, Karson Kuhlman only played 8:17 against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night and went 16 days without playing an NHL game.

Not an easy task to step in, especially considering Kuhlman is filling in for fellow right-shot center Morgan Geekie, who’s been productive as a energy grinder and had a five-game point streak earlier this season. Geekie suffered an upper body injury on Sunday in Anaheim.

Let’s see if Kuhlman can do some damage with limited ice time.

1st Period

1:50-2:30 – D-zone posture for the first half of the shift. Steady breakout with a dump in, Kuhlman remaining as third-man high on the forecheck. Capitals cleared zone, dumped into Seattle’s end and line peeled off to bench.

4:50-4:55 – Hopped on the ice and then hopped right back off. Messed up line change.

6:00-6:35 – Backcheck, stayed high in D-zone and actually made a kick save on a point shot by Erik Gustafsson. Playing with Daniel Sprong and Ryan Donato, they moved puck into Washington zone, nothing sustained.

9:24-10:12 – D-zone situation, no serious threats developed. On an errant Washington pass to the point, the puck slid back to the Capitals line and Kuhlman gave chase. He lost the race but kept decent pressure on before heading to bench after Washington clear.

17:54-17:57 – Hopped on the ice just in time for a stoppage and was replaced for the ensuing draw.

19:20-19:53 – Rush opportunity at start of shift but errant pass allowed for Capitals break-out. He wasn’t part of it. Raced back. Kuhlman high in the zone attacking the right point when the Capitals got a Grade-A scoring chance on a tip in front. Philipp Grubauer made the key save.

No offense of which to speak. Sat for an extended period of time with the Kraken penalty kill on the ice and also with the team looking for an offensive spark down two-nothing. Washington Capitals 2, Seattle Kraken 0.

2nd Period

2:56-2:45 – Not much happening with re-groups each way after a failed Kraken power play. Dump and chase and then a backcheck.

4:01-5:12 – Next man up on the PK with Yanni Gourde in the penalty box for holding the stick. Kuhlman with a fat penalty killing shift. Had one slapper graze his leg as he rotated high and stayed out on the point men. At the end of the shift, charged out on Alex Ovechkin as ‘The Great 8’ unleashed a slapper that Grubauer stopped.

10:45-11:30 – Decent effort on the forecheck. Had Capitals pinned for a bit. Aggressive on the backcheck. Broke up a play, handled the puck briefly trying to clear the zone but failed to do so while being checked along the far boards. Raced back to near corner and fell awkwardly on a partial hit during puck pursuit. Hustled back up ice and missed pass after entering Washington zone. Most energetic and involved shift of the game thus far.

16:50-17:24 – Another dandy. Trailed play as Donato tried a spinorama solo rush. Backchecked hard and delivered a hard check in the near corner. Led the next rush, carried up ice, drop pass and hit the zone on the fly. Shot on goal covered and held by Darcy Kuemper as Kuhlman went to the net for a rebound.

Kuhlman’s play picked up, as did that of his team. A power play goal for the Kraken at 13:28 ignited the crowd and Seattle had its best shifts in the second half of this period. Washington Capitals 2, Seattle Kraken 1.

3rd Period

2:10-2:30 – On the PK. On the ice briefly in D-zone coverage before a shot was blocked and caromed out of play.

6:05-6:25 – Joined a rush, carried the puck into the O-zone but no shot opportunity developed. Stayed high on a brief forecheck. Retreated and hopped off on next Kraken regroup.

13:35-13:59 – Hopped on for some penalty killing time. Played his position well. Grubauer caught and held a shot. Overall PK successful here.

With the game tight and the Kraken looking for the tying goal, 4th-line ice time was pretty much nonexistent. Sprong did see some action. Kuhlman ended up with 8:22 of ice time.

Final Score: Seattle Kraken 3, Washington Capitals 2, Overtime

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.