Seattle Kraken, Yanni Gourde

Seattle Kraken In Rare Place Of Discomfort

December was a choppy month for the Seattle Kraken and the last time they lost three consecutive games in regulation before this week.

They lost to the Florida Panthers 5-1 at Climate Pledge Arena on December 3rd, 4-2 three nights later to the Montreal Canadiens, and then 4-1 in Washington to the Capitals on the 9th.

The skid ended two nights later in Florida against the Panthers, 5-2.

Seattle scored first that evening, went 1-for-6 on the power play, and held the Panthers PP to 0-for-3.

“We’d lost three in a row, and you’re gonna need that sixty minute performance to push back in the right direction and our players for the most part did that,” Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said postgame.

The Kraken have had a couple of other three game slides, but they picked up at least a point during those.

Not this time around. Friday at Madison Square Garden marked three straight games that saw Seattle essentially trounced in two of them.

In the 4-0 loss on Long Island on Tuesday, the Seattle Kraken failed to generate chances and played a game without their identity.

Thursday they found their game, they hammered the New Jersey crease, but failed to solve Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood more than once in a 3-1 setback.

The next night, the Rangers buried the Kraken early in a 6-3 win for New York.

Added Seattle Kraken Incentive

What does it mean; it means the Kraken have placed themselves in a must-win situation against the Philadelphia Flyers to avoid their first four game losing streak of the season and potentially fall out of 3rd place.

Although the Flyers have improved, Seattle should have a pretty good opportunity if they play their fast, relentless puck pressure game.

The Flyers are a .500 hockey team with the 2nd worst power play in the league and a middling penalty kill. They’re 26th in goals scored in the NHL this season, with 36 fewer than the Kraken. Philly has a better road record than home.

One other lesser incentive, outside of the obvious need to pick up a victory for the playoff race, is the fact Seattle has never beaten the Flyers. Yes, it’s only been two games, but then again, it’s one of just two NHL teams the Kraken haven’t beaten, the other one being the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Seattle beat both the Vancouver Canucks and the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first time the week of January 22nd.

As it stands, the Seattle Kraken have burned a couple of the games they had in-hand on their closest Pacific Division combatants, and they could fall into fourth place depending on the results of the Pittsburgh Penguins, LA Kings game on Saturday night.

They already trail the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers.

When the standings are this tight, people aren’t kidding when they say you could lose three games and plunge in the standings.

The Seattle Kraken can’t afford to make it four.

It’s a matinee Sunday in Philly, with puck drop a little after 10 am pacific.

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.