Seattle has swapped their 2-game winning streak for a 2-game losing streak. It’s an unfortunate result from a difficult back-to-back in which the Kraken really didn’t play all that poorly. After a frustrating Halloween loss to the Rangers, the team traveled to Edmonton to face the red-hot Oilers. It was a tough task, and it ended with another loss. Leon Draisaitl’s 4-point night was more than enough to topple our heroes and send them back home empty handed.
Starting off on the wrong foot
In what is essentially a microcosm of the season as a whole, the Kraken again found themselves starting the game on the losing end. Draisaitl potted his first of the night on yet another goal that went in off of a skate, and while this one was definitely legal and not a kick by any stretch of the word I’m getting real tired of seeing teams score with equipment other than their sticks BUT I DIGRESS.
The real issue here is that this was another instance of Seattle putting themselves into a hole early on and being forced to play catch up for the rest of the game. Through 10 games, the Kraken have allowed the first goal 7 times, and all 7 of those have come in the first half of the first period.
When the Kraken don’t strike first, they allow a goal on average within the first 5 minutes of the game. I don’t know what exactly is going on here — there’s 2 Joey Daccord starts and 5 Philipp Grubauer starts and both seem to be having the same problem. Whatever the reason, getting through the first 10 minutes of the game without falling behind would be a huge boost to the team going forward.
Jaden Schwartz scored!
Schwartz was the most prominent member of the “I can’t believe this guy still hasn’t scored yet “ club heading into Monday night, but he finally got that monkey off his back in spectacular fashion.
NHL Video Highlight - Jaden Schwartz scores against the Edmonton Oilers to make it 1-1. pic.twitter.com/hiSoP5Semn— Seattle Kraken Gamebot (@KrakenGameBot) November 2, 2021
After coming up short in the first 9 games of his tenure, Schwartz appeared to be trying to simplify things a bit with the bold strategy of:
- Skate as fast as you can in a direct line to the net
- Shoot puck at said net
It’s never a bad idea to put the puck towards the net, and we now have two straight games with a sweet backhand goal from two very important members of the Kraken’s forward corps. Were both of those games losses? Next question.
Seattle has now gone five straight games without scoring on the power play. That’s their entire homestand plus this game against Edmonton. Head coach Dave Hakstol has switched things up a bit, giving Morgan Geekie and Ryan Donato some time with the top unit, but nothing has quite clicked for this group yet. This isn’t a problem of running into a hot goalie or not getting the lucky bounce, either. Per Evolving Hockey, the Kraken’s man advantage ranks:
- 25th in shots on goal per minute
- 23rd in shot attempts per minute
- 26th in expected goals per minute
- 30th in goals scored per minute
Since going a perfect 2 for 2 against Nashville, Seattle has only managed 1 power play goal in the successive 28 opportunities. Right now assistant coach Paul McFarland, in charge of the power play, is in the league COVID protocol, along with leading scorer Jared McCann. Hopefully the two of them will return soon and provide some kind of spark to get this unit cooking again.
The Kraken head back home to Climate Pledge Arena, where they’ve played their best hockey this year, and host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night at 7pm. We’ll see you in the comments!