Kraken McCann, Flames Mangiapane

Kraken: No On-Ice Retribution For Flames Mangiapane

Kraken Point

Maybe there should be a question mark behind that Kraken headline, and maybe throw in an exclamation point for good measure: No On-Ice Retribution For Flames Mangiapane?!

The Calgary winger just cross checked your leading scorer’s face into the ice via his neck, and not one Kraken moved an inflammatory muscle. Not a soul got into the opponent’s face.

Watching it unfold at the time, that was as shocking as the play itself.

Yes, it’s the kindler, gentler NHL apparently, but when someone pulls off one of these moves, you go after him. It obviously would have been completely justified and some intensity warranted, whether it was Game-6 of a playoff series or just plain ole game-12 of the regular season.

Often times NHL players take exception to plays when they probably shouldn’t, often on clean, big hits made against a teammate. Then again, it’s hockey extinct. They see a buddy get laid out, they go after the perpetrator. As annoying as this can be on occasion, one can understand the emotion.

I don’t understand it when a response is completely warranted and nothing happens.

Kraken Counterpoint

The three Kraken players closest to the play were lined up directly behind Mangiapane and they may have had a hard time seeing the infraction. The Flames player blocked the view with his body.

Next, Eeli Tolvanen, Justin Schultz and Brian Dumoulin likely aren’t the first candidates to seek immediate retribution. Then again, in a situation like this … McCann was in obvious distress and both Seattle defensemen are veterans of NHL battles.

One could argue that the Kraken didn’t want to take themselves out of a power play situation. It was rather clear a penalty was being called, the severity of which would have been unknown. Guys try their best not to take equalizing penalties whenever their team is about to go on a power play, regardless of how ticked off they may be.

Maybe one or two of the Kraken on the bench who watched this, guys more likely to take care of some form of enforcement, were thinking “I’m going to get this guy”. When he got tossed from the game, that concept became a moot point.

Is it archaic to think that way? Nope. Even nowadays, violent acts must be answered, not only to send a message but also to potentially discourage a player from doing something that stupid again. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but to leave it unchecked gives opponents free reign to take liberties.

Being “tough to play against” also includes defending your own barn and protecting or sticking up for your teammates. When word gets out that that’s not the case, teams can get pushed around.

Not good.


We’ll try to find out when the team gets back from its road trip.


— Simmer’s Kraken Sunday 9: Scoring Slump, Goalie Secrets, Bobble John

— And you’re nuts if you don’t watch this Kraken podcast with John Forslund, one of the best in the biz and insights on Seattle hockey you won’t find anywhere else …

“Simmer and Forslund” Podcast on the Kraken

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.
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6 months ago

If the officials’ response had been anything less than a game misconduct, I would agree with you 100%. The fact that the officials made the correct call and let the players know that dirty, dangerous, and downright heinous actions like what Mangiapane pulled would be met with an ejection–no matter if the offender is a star–made not trying to knock the guy’s block off acceptable. As I see it, fighting has to be done, because officals all too often do not respond to dirty play the way that they should. This time the officials did respond in the right way. Mangiapane had to leave the game one way or another, and, thankfully, that happened within the rules of the game.

On the other hand, you are absolutely right that the team is in deperate need of some toughness, a willingness to stick up for guys like McCann and Beniers who are the victims of cheap shots altogether too often. Those guys are good enough that it is conceivable that they would be able to just go off on a scoring spree if they didn’t have guys actively trying to injure them on the ice. I know that the Kraken are built for speed and skill, but they have min/maxed it by using nastiness as a dump stat.

It makes me miss Jeremy Lauzon. Yeah, I know, the penalties and defensive gaffes were often bad, but the dude is gritty and nasty and absolutely fearless. He may not have been popular here, but I, for one, loved the guy. Dude is old school, and Nashville is employing his tendencies in the proper way.