After a 6-4 loss in Toronto on Tuesday, Kraken coach Dave Hakstol called out his team for giving an “incomplete” effort. Everyone is feeling the pressure now, as Seattle has lost 10 of its last 11 games. Against teams like Toronto, an incomplete effort isn’t going to cut it. That said, the Kraken are entering a potentially favorable stretch in their schedule, with four of the next five games against bottom-10 teams. If the Kraken can clean up their mistakes, the next couple weeks could be the start of a turnaround.
Opponent Spotlight – Ottawa Senators
While the Senators are the final team to face the Kraken for the first time, there’s already some high-stakes hockey history between Ottawa and Seattle. The original Ottawa Senators (a separate franchise that existed from 1883-1934) faced the Seattle Metropolitans in the 1920 Stanley Cup Finals, winning the series in a winner-take-all Game 5. For a closer look at that 1920 series and the Seattle Metropolitans, check out this video we made last spring on Seattle’s hockey history.
Today’s Senators aren’t exactly Stanley Cup caliber. They rank 28th in the NHL standings and are still in the midst of an extensive rebuild. While a number of young core pieces like Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, and Tim Stutzle are playing at the NHL level, the Sens still lack maturity, depth, and goaltending. That said, they have the raw talent to beat any opponent on a given night.
- Fresh players – As mentioned previously, Hakstol was not happy with his team’s effort last game. After icing the same lineup three games in a row, I have a hard time imagining Hakstol not getting some fresh players in the lineup tonight. Ryan Donato will be the name to watch, as he’s 5th on the team in goals and points. After being a healthy scratch for two games, you know he’s going to try to make a difference and get on the scoresheet.
- Controlled entries – Since getting Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz back from injury, the Kraken have transitioned from an offense based on stretch passes and dump-and-chase to one based on carrying the puck into the zone with speed. The Leafs had no answer for it on Tuesday and the Kraken should be able to keep the Sens defenders on their heels with it tonight.
- No soft goals – After last game, Hakstol described Philipp Grubauer’s performance as “Same as the hockey team.” In other words, bad. Grubauer let in a pair of soft goals that drained the Kraken’s momentum. Whether it’s him or Driedger in net, the momentum-killing goals against just can’t happen.
Did You Know…
Did you know the NHL frowns upon throwing a broken stick into the crowd? When Toronto’s Mats Sundin had his stick snap in a key moment in a 2004 game against the Nashville Predators, the frustrated Leafs captain flung the top half of the stick into the crowd, endangering the spectators but ultimately giving one lucky fan a souvenir. No, Mats. You can’t do that. Sundin as given a penalty and later suspended for one game. Later that season in a game against Toronto, with his team leading 7-1, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson pulled off one of the best hockey trolling moments ever as he pretended to fling his broken stick into the crowd like Sundin, only to think better of it.
ECH Postgame Live
Join us after the game for ECH Postgame Live! After every Kraken game this season, RJ and Dylan will do a live postgame show on the Emerald City Hockey YouTube Channel. ECH Postgame live will include a postgame wrap-up, analysis, and a live Q&A with viewers. Join the community of Kraken fans who tune in after the game to talk Kraken hockey!