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Kraken go to Vancouver, come back with nothing but a 5-2 loss

Canucks prove very inhospitable hosts, if we’re being honest

NHL: FEB 21 Kraken at Canucks Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

FIRST PERIOD

The first was actually a really good period for Seattle, once you get past the very first thing that happened.

It would have been only too easy to be disheartened by not just another early goal allowed, but a goal allowed after only 11 seconds of play. But Seattle was born into the early deficit — molded by it, even. It’s not like giving up an early goal has worked out in the long run, but it is almost a comfort at this point. We didn’t have to dwell on it for too long, at least, thanks to Marcus Johnasson and Jared McCann.

Johansson made Tyler Myers look silly here on this rush chance. Digging the puck out from Myers’ skates and then slowing to let McCann get in to create a 2-on-1, then the patience, oh the PATIENCE, to wait until the last moment to sneak the puck across to Seattle’s leading goal scorer. That’s the easiest goal McCann has had all season. I’ll admit I was hesitant when Marcus Johansson started getting top-6 minutes for this team initially, but it’s paid dividends of late — Jojo can make some plays.

The Kraken got the game’s first power play near the end of this period and it didn’t go well at all. They were outshot 1-0 on the man advantage, and a few seconds before the power play expired Vince Dunn took an interference penalty to prevent an Elias Pettersson breakaway. Fortunately, the Kraken have a deadly shorthanded attack headed by the ageless Mark Giordano, apparently.

Gio showed us that he’s still got wheels when he needs them to go with those soft hands. But to me, the highlight of this one was once again the pass that set up the chance. Joonas Donskoi showed us some of the patience we saw from Jojo before launching a pass to the moon that would make Russell Wilson proud. The puck laid down flat just in time for Gio and bam, the Kraken took a 2-1 lead. Chris Driedger made 14 saves over the final 19:49 of this period as well, an impressive stretch after a rocky start.

SECOND PERIOD

The second period was ass.

Okay if you must know more, know that the Canucks outshot the Kraken 18-4, earned 82.3% of the expected goals, and 100% of the actual goals in this period. It started early when Travis Hamonic snuck in a one-timer that seemed to phase right through Driedger. Jamie Oleksiak then promply took a holding penalty, sending Vancouver to the power play, but Seattle did at least manage to kill off the penalty. Still, the onslaught from the Canucks early on really set the tone for the rest of the period, and Seattle spent most of the middle 20 minutes just trying to hold on.

On the lighter side, we were blessed with a truly hilarious and bizarre moment when three skaters from each team spent an inordinate amount of time battling for the “puck” in the corner whilst the actual puck was on the other side of the ice.

Vancouver scored what would eventually count as the game-winner with 3 minutes to go, when Seattle just could not get out of their own zone. Quinn Hughes threw a puck at the net from a bad angle, and the rebound found Vasily Podkolzin on the back door for the easy tap-in.

The Kraken had another power play opportunity near the end of this period, but once again they:

  • Didn’t get a shot on goal
  • Took a penalty before their power play expired to prevent an odd-man rush for Vancouver

Basically the power play struggles are still alive and well.

THIRD PERIOD

Vancouver began the period with an abbreviated power play, thanks to the aforementioned penalty taken by Alex Wennberg to prevent the shorthanded scoring chance at the end of the second. Bo Horvat made them pay on this one with a one-timer from the slot after some great puck movement by the Canucks. With that it was 4-2 Vancouver on the scoreboard and no signs from Seattle that they would be able to overcome that deficit. With an inability to generate sustained offensive pressure, the Kraken got creative and tried throwing six skaters out onto the ice early on without pulling the goalie, but the referees somehow managed to catch them in the act.

What is even going on in this hockey game? Why can’t the Kraken be normal? We may never know for sure.

Tanner Pearson added an empty net goal in the final minutes to make it a 5-2 final score, and the Kraken fall to 0-3 against their I-5 rivals this season.

GAME NOTES

  • Chris Driedger made 41 saves on 44 shots, a season-high on both counts. The early goal was tough but he played admirably over the next 59 minutes, including this save on a clean JT Miller breakaway
  • Seattle’s losing streak is now at four games, the fourth time this season they’ve had a losing streak last that long.
  • Morgan Geekie moved up to play with Jared McCann and Jordan Eberle for a bit in the third period, and according to Natural Stat Trick the three skaters generated 8 shot attempts while allowing none for Vancouver.
  • Calle Järnkrok took a stick up high and gave us a single picture that sums up this game