The Seattle Kraken dodged a highly destructive bullet by pulling out the overtime victory in Detroit on Tuesday night.
“It was huge to get one there and maybe this will spark us a bit,” game winning goal scorer Jordan Eberle said postgame.
The other Seattle scenario looked like this: Blown 3-to-1 lead in the 3rd period resulting in a 4-3 loss and a 1-5-and-1 record to start the season.
Their actual 2-4-and-1 mark isn’t exactly pretty, but pulling out the OT win against the Red Wings 5-4 makes things much more palatable heading into what could be a bee’s nest in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday. The Hurricanes should be a bit ornery after getting toasted 7-4 last week in Seattle.
It’s hard to beat any team twice in a week, let alone a good one. Even though Carolina has struggled out of the blocks, many eventual playoff teams take a wee bit of time to get their act together. We know the Hurricanes are an Eastern Conference Final calibre club.
Here’s another motivation for the Kraken and something to think about for their fans as the rest of the road trip evolves. Go 2-0-and-1 and you’re exactly where you were last season at the end of October, with a record of 4-4-and-2.
Tall task? Hell yes, but the Kraken have pulled off road miracles before.
The stops aren’t easy; the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning follow the visit to Dixie.
I will say this; even if they can’t pull that off, a 1-1-and-1 finish to the trip and a 3-5-and-2 record coming home is minimally essential. Anything less and they’d be in a dangerous pit.
A team is always happy to get two points in the standings, but Tuesday night was one of those topsy turvy affairs that gives coaches grey hairs.
Then again, that’s hockey.
“We played a real good first two periods and even on special teams did a real nice job,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said postgame in Detroit. “All of a sudden there was a wave of power plays and (Red Wings) they’ve been rolling on their power plays and they made good on them, so to be able to push back, we’ve done it a couple of times now, we haven’t gotten rattled, we haven’t gone away after giving up a lead.”
A 3-1 Seattle lead vanished with three consecutive Detroit power play goals in the third period, blowing up what was a remarkable Kraken run of killing off 17 of 18 opposing power plays to start the season.
Bang, bang, bang.
“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, but when you make a mistake with their puck speed, some of the mojo they’ve got going right now, they’re running at a high clip,” Hakstol said. “The biggest thing was, us being able to reset and go back at it and we did that.”
Raleigh, NC is next.
Ovie Gets One
Ultimately he’s chasing the 900 career goal mark, and ‘finally’ five games into this season, Alexander Ovechkin notched another one, now at 823 for his career. That slow start is a drought for a guy who’s scored in almost 2/3rds of the 1,352 games he’s played in his career.
Unfortunately for the captain of the Washington Capitals and his teammates, the goal came in a 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. The 2018 Stanley Cup champions failed to make the playoffs last season and have started this campaign 1-3-and-1 and in last place in the Metropolitan Division.
Less talent and production overall will likely hurt Ovie’s bid at getting to that magic 900, but he’s not exactly a guy we’d ever worry about giving up.
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