Things got off to a rocky start for the Kraken, as Chris Kreider took advantage of a sluggish effort by Dunn to split the Kraken D halfway through the period and put a rocket past Grubauer to put the Rangers up 1-0.
Both teams kept trying to see what the other was going to do, but the period ended before more could be done.
Things got better! Jordan Eberle cashed in on the rush after putting a backhander from the circles right past Shesterkin in a feat that is honestly much harder to pull off than it looks. 1-1 Everybody!
This is the kind of shot that makes memories.
And then...Igor Shesterkin took over this goddang game. Try as the Kraken might, and they tried a lot, Shesterkin wouldn’t budge. Shot after shot after shot just absorbed by the Russian goalie, who managed to keep the puck out long enough for the period to end.
The thing about hockey is that sometimes, you can do everything right for most of a period, and still something terrible can happen in the blink of an eye and have all your momentum crash down around your ears.
Case in point; Adam Fox.
2-1 Rangers after spending most of their night in their own end.
The Kraken tried again and again, but once again the Shesterkinian wall kept them from evening this thing up, and when it became clear it wasn’t going to work, they pulled the goalie for an extra attacker.
The thing about that is that it can be a risk.
Sometimes risk doesn’t pay off. Kraken lose 3-1 to Igor Shesterkin and the guys who occasionally score around him.
- While the Kraken have run into some impressive third period goalie performances, I can’t think of a guy who more emphatically stole a game from the Kraken quite like Igor Shesterkin did. This dude put up a .969 SV% in a night where his team placed a grand total of 18 shots on goal across 60 minutes of hockey. Does that make it sting less? Of course not. But this? This happens sometimes in hockey. There isn’t a direct equivalent in other sports for this kind of thing, the closest I could think of is having a baseball pitcher give up a lot of hits but only one run in a game you lose 2-1. That “if only he f%^king dropped that” feeling is the exact feeling of getting goalie’d. Thankfully, this generally isn’t going to be a trend. I just wish the Kraken could do it once or twice.
- That said, if there could be something of a weakness of the Kraken attack that might’ve allowed this goalie-ing to happen, I would absolutely point to their blue liners. It seems like the attack is quite involved and that’s good, but passing back to the defensemen has to be less of a gamble for the Kraken to succeed. It’s like a few of them genuinely can’t imagine ever being passed to even if a sizeable portion of their offense seems to start up at the blue line?
- Speaking of which as the Kraken have played more and more games, one singular issue seems to be standing out above the rest is that they are very good at giving up extremely high danger chances on the rush, more often than not due to the confusing malaise of the defense. Dave Hakstol has to drill it into these guys that passes back to them need to be picked up or it could spell disaster for them.
- The Seattle power play could use a serious tune-up. After 9 games we’re seeing success rates comparable to that of the winless Coyotes and the mercurial Golden Knights. Switch out some guys, Dave.
- While I’m sure Ron Francis has an extensive Christmas list, I wonder if he’s planning on finding a depth defenseman who can skate in his near future.
- Jared McCann please get better buddy we miss you.
Tonight’s game begins at 6:30pm PST against the Edmonton Oilers. Onto the next one!