After the madness that was the Seattle Kraken’s 6-5 regulation loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, I’m not sure the Seattle coaching staff had much of an appetite for another wild and woolly, high scoring affair.
Unfortunately the Toronto Maple Leafs had other ideas on Sunday afternoon. By the time the first period was over, thanks to goals by former Kraken captain Mark Giordano, John Tavares and Timothy Liljegren, the Leafs had a 3-1 lead. This, after the Kraken had scored first.
Sloppy play and a relatively soft goal from Philipp Grubauer didn’t help matters.
That set thing up ‘come from behind hockey’ for Seattle, never an enticing proposition.
Seattle Kraken Goal Scorer:
1-0 Kraken – Even Strength – Vince Dunn (11) from Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann, 3:47
Off consecutive Leafs turnovers in their own end, Eberle found Dunn cruising down the slot.
Clog It Up
The Maple Leafs were content with the two goal lead to line three players up at center ice in an effort to contain the Seattle Kraken break-out while being opportunistic. That opportunity came at 4:13 of the 2nd period when Auston Matthews batted in a rebound from along the right goalpost to give Toronto a 4-1 lead. Then they really sat on things.
The Kraken had two sustained stints with in-zone pressure at even strength and one prolonged opportunity on their lone power play. Nothing doing against outstanding goalie Ilya Samsonov.
The Kraken would not be able to outscore their problems on this occasion. The Leafs played a nearly perfect road game.
Matthews would add his second of the night and 28th goal of the season in the third period on a 3-on-2 rush.
The loss wasn’t devastating considering the Seattle Kraken have games in hand on the teams they’re chasing in the Pacific Division, but snagging a point or two on Sunday afternoon would have been advantageous.
The LA Kings lost to the New York Rangers 5-2 and the Winnipeg Jets lost to the New York Islanders 4-0 on Sunday.
Through Sunday, Pacific Division and the two Western Conference Wild Cards:
1st – Vegas Golden Knights – 76 points – 59 games played
2nd – Los Angeles Kings – 74 points – 61 games played
3rd – Edmonton Oilers – 72 points – 60 games played
1st WC – Winnipeg Jets – 71 points – 60 games played
2nd WC – Seattle Kraken – 70 points – 59 games played
Next closest – Calgary Flames – 66 points – 60 games played