Seattle Kraken, Kailer Yamamoto

Kraken Can’t Win Their Opener; Lose To Colorado 4-1

The Seattle Kraken lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Tuesday night in a game that had the visitors seeking revenge for their head-to-head ouster from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They got it.

The game started fast and feisty, including a fight between Kraken veteran Jordan Eberle and Av’s forward Logan O’Connor just 80-seconds into the game. Apparent retribution for Eberle’s hit-from-behind that knocked Andrew Cogliano out of the 1st-round of the playoffs in Game-6. Seattle eliminated Colorado in Game-7 and moved on to Dallas.

One other reminder of the playoff battles: Kraken fans continue to relentlessly boo Av’s defenseman Cale Makar every time he touches the puck. Makar knocked Jared McCann out of the postseason with a late hit in Game-4, an infraction that earned the Norris Trophy winner a one-game suspension.

1st Period

The hits just kept on coming, as did the shots-on-goal, few of which posed much of a threat early on. Both teams did a nice job of keeping plays and volleys to the outside.

The relentless Kraken forecheck started to pay dividends with about six minutes remaining. Andre Burakovsky had the best chance of the period when he fired a shot into goalie Alex Georgiev while skating in on a clean 2-on-1.

Minutes later, Spokane native and former Chiefs captain Kailer Yamamoto became the first Washington-born player to score a goal for the Kraken. After Georgiev made two stops on Tye Kartye in the slot, the rebound skipped to Yamamoto in the left wing circle, where he paused for a moment before firing a shot short-side over the goalie’s shoulder.

Dunn picked up an assist as the Climate Pledge Arena was-a-rockin’.

Shots were 16-9 in favor of the home folks.

2nd Period

The period began with the Kraken on the power play for 1:47 after Ross Colton took a tripping call for dumping Seattle D-man Brian Dumoulin very late in the 1st period.

Nothing doing, as the Seattle power play continues to struggle.

On the flip side of the special teams ledger is the Seattle penalty kill, making it 12-for-12 after killing off a Justin Schultz slash during what turned into a parade to the penalty box.

The Kraken picked up another PP opportunity almost midway through the period but failed again. At that moment, 1-for-9 on the season with the man advantage.

Make that 1-for-10 after failing on another chance when Nathan MacKinnon went off for interference. Not only did the Kraken sputter, they gave up a shorthanded goal for the 2nd time this season.

Through 11 periods of hockey, the Seattle power play had given up more goals than it had scored, 2-1. Which was also the number of goals on the scoreboard in favor of the Avalanche.

3rd Period

With goalie Philipp Grubauer finishing the previous period with a couple of ginormous saves, the Kraken stayed within one shot of tying the hockey game.

Unfortunately for the faithful at the Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle couldn’t muster a sustained attack. It would be the Avalanche stretching their lead at 13:45 with Mikko Rantanen firing home a puck from the slot off solid forecheck work.

Kraken coach Dave Hakstol continued different line combos to no avail. At one point we saw Yamamoto on the top line with Matty Beniers and Jordan Eberle. Those two have been very quiet thus far this season.

Seattle has played four games and has tallied a grand total of three goals.

Colorado added an empty-netter.

Shots on goal in this one finished overwhelmingly in favor of the Kraken 38-28. Power Plays: Colorado 0-for-2, Seattle 0-for-4

Kraken 3 Stars:

1) Philipp Grubauer – He wasn’t as busy as his counterpart at the other end, but he did his best to keep Seattle in it.

2) Kailer Yamamoto – First Washington-born to light the lamp for the Kraken. Active with two shots in limited ice time.

3) Adam Larsson – D-man led the Kraken in ice time and shots on goal with six. He was credited with two hits.


— Kraken, Minus Tanev, Change Up Lines Ahead Of Home Opener

— Simmer’s Sunday 9: Barry Melrose, ‘The Kid’, Babs, McCann’s Record

Simmer as ‘the Phantom’ — CORRECTION: Should be: “1 for 11 on the power play”

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.