The Kraken faced the Edmonton Oilers for the third time this season on Saturday night, and it did not go well. There were some good pieces and plays, but they were far out-chanced by the high-powered Oilers offense. Both teams are of course dealing with outbreaks of Covid among the players and staff — including the game day additions of Jamie Oleksiak for Seattle and Jesse Puljujärvi for Edmonton. It was a bit of an odd feeling, playing a hockey game amid the ongoing cancellation of more than 20 NHL games, but it happened. Let’s talk about it.
This game got off to quite the energetic start. Less than 3 minutes in, Jeremy Lauzon laid a dangerous hit on Colton Sceviour near the Oilers bench. Sceviour let him know that wasn’t appreciated, so Lauzon proceeded to wail on him for a bit and somehow the two both went to the box for 5 minutes and I’ll be honest, I was shocked Edmonton didn’t get a power play out of this.
we got prison rules tonight between edmonton and seattle. this dangerous lauzon hit goes unpenalized, then the pair throw down. pic.twitter.com/ApMNjRVDQE— zach laing (@zjlaing) December 19, 2021
Not long after this kerfuffle, it was Seattle who would open the scoring when Ryan Donato’s penchant for being the most shot-happy player on the Kraken paid off yet again. It wasn’t the most dangerous area to shoot from, which might be why it caught goaltender Stuart Skinner a bit off guard. And just like that, the Kraken opened the scoring in a game for the 11th time this season.
Donato finished the night with a team-leading 4 shots on goal — and he did that with less than 9 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time. Even Alexander True, who spent the first two months of the year in Charlotte, had more ice time than Donato. Donato now has a goal in three straight games and 8 total on the year.
Before we hit the halfway point of the opening period, Seattle extended their lead to 2-0 on an absolutely beautiful play from the top line of Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle, and Jaden Schwartz. This line was the only one that really got going for much of this game, and on this play specifically they really made defensemen Cody Ceci and William Lagesson look like they did not belong on the same ice as them.
can jared light the lamp?— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) December 19, 2021
YES, HE MCCANN!!!! pic.twitter.com/hm9djb59uy
Those pesky Edmonton Oilers do have a way of kicking their offense up into another gear, though, and within 8 minutes of McCann’s goal the Oilers scored twice to tie the game. Evan Bouchard fired a slap shot from the point that found its way through, then Warren Foegele buried a rebound on the power play just like that we’re back to square one. Tie game.
The Kraken actually had their best period of the night in the middle frame in terms of shots on goal — they were only outshot 9 to 7 this time. Edmonton more than doubled Seattle’s shot totals in both the first and third periods, so I guess you could say this was Seattle’s best period. It started off on the wrong foot though. Colton Sceviour gave Edmonton their first lead of the night after a tough giveaway by Morgan Geekie behind his own net. That lead wouldn’t last long though, because who else but noted offensive powerhouse* Carson Soucy got Seattle back in the game with a goal of his own.
*offensive prowess only at participating locations, void where prohibited
NHL Video Highlight - Carson Soucy scores against the Edmonton Oilers to make it 3-3. pic.twitter.com/fKUFfSRN5P— Seattle Kraken Gamebot (@KrakenGameBot) December 19, 2021
Soucy has already tripled his goal output from last season, when he had 1 goal in 50 games. This time he finds a nice juicy rebound (much in the same way Foegele did in period one, actually) and doesn’t hesitate to throw it at the open cage. Another period down, and still this one was tied despite Edmonton’s 29-14 lead in shots on goal.
Seattle fell victim to the dreaded coach’s challenge halfway through this one. Edmonton appeared to take the lead, but the goal was immediately waved off by the referee due to the fact that Chris Driedger got absolutely run over in the crease as the puck flipped over his shoulder. A bit of a panic, but hey at least they immediately knew that wasn’t a good hockey goal, right? Right???
NHL Video Highlight - Warren Foegele scores against the Seattle Kraken to make it 4-3. pic.twitter.com/kUEIff610i— Seattle Kraken Gamebot (@KrakenGameBot) December 19, 2021
Edmonton challenged the no-goal call and after some long deliberation, it was determined that the only reason Foegele landed on top of Driedger was because he was ALLEDGEDLY pushed into him by Mark Giordano. I mean, sure, he absolutely was, and this is the right call, but you can’t stop me from being mad about it anyway.
Seattle didn’t get many chances to mount a comeback after that. They mustered just 1 shot on goal and only 4 shot attempts in the final 11 minutes after the Oilers took a 4-3 lead. Head coach Dave Hakstol pulled Driedger with over 2 minutes remaining to try to get something going, but even with the extra skater there was never a real established offensive zone presence with which Seattle threatened to score. Connor McDavid put the nail in this one with an empty net goal with under a minute left and the Kraken go home with their second straight loss.
- Brandon Tanev went down awkwardly behind the net late in the third and needed help skating off the ice. Hakstol didn’t offer any updates after the game, but hopes to know more tomorrow.
- The forward line of Marcus Johansson, Alex Wennberg, and Mason Appleton was outshot 14-1 tonight in 9:51 minutes of ice time.
- Joonas Donskoi, he of many chances but no goals, logged 10 minutes of ice time — only the third time this season he’s played less than 11 minutes and a far cry from his season average of 16:20.
- JT Brown’s suit game whips
The important thing is we still have JT Brown pic.twitter.com/Uptc60zsxj— Davy Jones' Locker Room (@DavyJonesLR) December 19, 2021
- Seattle still has four players in Covid protocol as of this writing: Jamie Oleksiak, Yanni Gourde, Riley Sheahan, and Colin Blackwell.
The next game, which is very much not a sure thing, should be Tuesday at home against the Arizona Coyotes. Stay tuned for more updates as the league continues to fluctuate daily with more and more players being placed in Covid protocol.