Seattle Kraken, Dave Hakstol

Kraken’s Disappointing Season Over With 7 Games To Play

That thud you heard on Wednesday night was the Seattle Kraken officially being eliminated from participating in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The thud came in the form of a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in a game that characterized much of the Kraken’s play over the last few weeks. Uninspired.

We’ve gone over this before, likely more than once, but just keep in mind that the club that was iced for this season was less talented and seemed to be less committed than the one that made the playoffs last season. That, and the fact that veteran players who have won Stanley Cups — and the Kraken have many of those — see the writing on the wall with the rest of us who have been around forever and realize ‘what’s the point in killing yourself with effort if you know the cause is a lost one’.

“We left too much in the tank here today,” Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol said postgame in LA. “You have to evaluate it for what it is, both individually and collectively. It’s good to be able to come out and have a push in the 3rd (period), but that needed to start at the start of the hockey game today, and that’s where we fell short.”

From a little before the NHL Trade Deadline, when the club moved on from center Alex Wennberg, that writing was on the wall regarding a non-playoff season and the ensuing performance fell right in line.

Kraken Priorities

We broke down the general needs a couple of weeks ago when it was clear that this season was headed for a dead end, and I’m sure we’ll be breaking it down more specifically more than once in the off-season and as the 2024-’25 campaign approaches.

There’s no question the franchise has some prospects in the pipeline; we’ve already seen the arrival of defenseman Ryker Evans. But in this day and age of instant gratification and “what have you done for me lately”, especially with the expansion-cousin Vegas Golden Knights having already hoisted the Stanley Cup, it’s imperative Kraken GM Ron Francis does more than try to nail things in the draft — a inexact science to say the least — and wait out development.

That won’t fly. Even with an elongated honeymoon in a market that’s less hockey intense than others, there’s still no shortage of constituents who will start to get anxious. The internal ones, a.k.a. ownership, will be the ones most concerned.

The obvious concept bears repeating: Next season Kraken management and coaches will be under real pressure for the first time. If they’re not, then ownership’s not doing its “job”.

For now the Kraken have two home games remaining. Pop by and watch some entertaining NHL shinny. Although the intensity will be absent, you’ll still find elite athletes playing in the best league in the world in the planet’s greatest sport.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken Hope Big WHL D-man Lukas Dragicevic Has A Big Future

— Kraken Rocking The Mullett! Arena That Is – A Personal Reflection

— Kraken’s Ryker Evans A Step In The Right Direction

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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