Kraken Martyred In Game With Broad Implications For The Season
Seeing is believing, and the Seattle Kraken’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers last night was no trick of the light. Playing in a dimmed rink is less than ideal but according to Jared McCann, it’s no “excuse” for a lamentable all around effort.
“We were soft on pucks and we weren’t making hard plays,” a frustrated McCann told the media. “We let up. I thought we had a good start, but we didn’t stick with it. We weren’t consistent with our offensive play.”
Early in the opening frame, on-ice officials noticed that a light above the visitors’ end of the rink had gone out, making one half of the ice distinctively darker than the other – harboring potential for a game-skewing disadvantage. Postponement was suggested, but both teams conferred and agreed to continue play. For the purpose of fairness, goaltenders would switch nets halfway through each period.
Knowing the circumstances, the Kraken forged ahead. Whether what followed was truly representative of their skill – a perfect storm of sporadic, flighty offense and passive defense – is up for debate.
McCann doesn’t think so. “That’s not like us, we’ve got to figure it out here.”
But as things stand, most of this season has been played poorly, exemplified by a dismal 1-4-1 record. The Kraken’s 7-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes is beginning to look like a one-off.
For the fifth time in six games Seattle put fewer than two goals on the scoreboard, making their six goals one of the fewest totals put forth by any team in the league. Attacking skaters struggled to connect on plays, opting instead for measly one-and-done attempts that hardly challenged Jonathan Quick, serving the veteran netminder his first win as a Ranger.
Defensively Seattle reverted to lapses in judgment dating all the way back to the inaugural season, leaving too much room open in prime scoring territory for opposing skaters, not keeping their heads on a swivel, and rolling over at the slightest sign of counterattack. Both teams spent most of the game tied, either scoreless or at one, making Seattle’s white flag of a performance even more puzzling.
“[The loss] was more what we were doing, or not doing” as opposed to the Rangers’ strength, Justin Schultz elaborated post-game. “We weren’t skating like we can, turned over pucks, just all around it wasn’t a great effort at all tonight.”
In addition to a crucial two points in the standings, the Kraken also lost forward Andre Burakovsky in the second period after a late hit by Jacob Trouba left him struggling to get up off the ice. The winger, who returned to play in October after a lower-body injury sidelined him since early February, was immediately ruled out for the rest of the game, per Seattle Kraken PR. Head coach Dave Hakstol reported that Burakovsky’s injury would not be “short-term,” unable to provide a better idea of the gravity of the situation until he was more adequately informed.
It’s not just Seattle’s scoring depth that’s taken a hit this season, but their physical depth. Burakovsky’s apparent injury comes less than a week after it was announced that Brandon Tanev would miss 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury sustained in the season opener. Two wingers down and grappling with offensive regression, things are looking bleak.
Nevertheless, the Kraken have a fighting spirit, as McCann demonstrated in the third period, relentlessly attempting to launch fists at New York’s Vince Trocheck despite the obvious losing effort of his scrap.
To keep fighting, to take the blows as they come and retaliate regardless of odds, is the only thing this team can do at this point.
Seattle will start their second road trip of the season on Oct. 24 against the Detroit Red Wings.
— Simmer’s Sunday 9 – Lights Out, Lifeless Kraken, McDavid Hurt?