Coming off the disappointing loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Climate Pledge Arena on Tuesday night, one could only wonder if the Seattle Kraken were about to enter a lull, especially considering some of the lackadaisical play that unfolded. Two unnecessary puck-over-glass delay-of-games penalties stand out.
It’s not at all unusual for a team that goes on a winning streak to eventual start to get loose with their play. It’s not an intentional ‘reading of their own headlines’, it’s just human nature. Things seem a bit easier when you’re on a roll. It’s not easier, it’s the power of collective confidence. That momentum can start to mask bad habits when they start to creep in.
It’s especially true at the start of NHL seasons, particularly over the first two months. Once coaching, systems and discipline kick back in in full force, teams finding success sometimes stop finding success. The inverse is also true.
It that the Kraken at the moment? Set up for a correction?
The early play in Washington didn’t necessarily indicate that, but the Capitals did come out flying on home ice with the memory of the loss in Seattle eight days ago somewhat fresh in their minds. They’re a veteran team defending their barn.
Washington was the dominant team for the first period-and-a-half. The peppered Philipp Grubauer with three shots in the first minute of the game and had outshot the Kraken 7-2 through the first seven minutes.
Somehow Seattle came away with a one-nothing lead after one period following a seeing-eye goal from the left point by Adam Larsson.
Grubauer in the Kraken net was outstanding. He allowed the Kraken to stay in it all evening.
In the second period the home team was even more dominant. By the time Jamie Oleksiak received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head at the midway point, the Capitals had tied the game and outshot the Kraken 24-9.
A five-minute power play, unlike a standard two-minute minor, means the team with the man advantage can score as often as it can without the penalty coming off the board. Score once, penalty continues, try to score again.
The Capitals would get one goal on the power play, which wasn’t a horrible thing for Seattle. Generally speaking, the penalty kill looked good.
It set up an opportunity for the Kraken. Score the next goal, whenever, and all is forgotten and the game starts over 2-2.
It didn’t happen.
Kraken Goal Scorer:
1-0 Kraken – Adam Larsson (3) – from Morgan Geekie and Karson Kuhlman, 17:51
A face-off win in the left wing circle got chipped back to the left point where Larsson fired a seeing-eye wrister top shelf
— Alexander Ovechkin scored an empty-netter and now has 796 career NHL goals. He’s five away from tying Gordie Howe for 2nd all-time.
Kraken 3 Stars:
1) Philipp Grubauer – Stopped 36 shots on goal. Main reason Kraken stayed in it.
2) Adam Larsson – A goals, six hits, two blocked shots. 25:54 in ice time. Two penalty minutes.
3) Morgan Geekie – An assist off a face-off. Aggressive play. Two shots, two hits, and a takeaway in 12:10 of ice time.