Hockey is back! It honestly feels pretty odd, especially considering this game was on the same day the IIHF cancelled the World Juniors, but nevertheless, we watch because we love this big dumb sport and our great cephalopod team. This time, the Kraken were out to avenge their early season 6-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
You know those games where one team seems to dominate the time of possession, outshoots their opponent by a 2 to 1 margin, and still somehow loses? Yeah, me too.
The Kraken came out strong in the first, which was good to see for a team that has 1) often come out flat to open a game and 2) hadn’t played a game in 10 days. They took 6 of the game’s first 8 shot attempts. But then Jordan Eberle took a penalty for cross checking Philadelphia’s Travis Konecny, revenge for Konecny’s future in-game shenanigans, I’m sure — prevenge if you will. On the ensuing power play, the man who you had in at least one of your mock expansion drafts this summer put the Flyers up 1-0. (It was James van Riemsdyk, I’m talking about James van Riemsdyk) And just like that, the Kraken found themselves trailing 5 minutes into the game.
Seattle didn’t let it get them down, however, and responded with more offensive pressure, eventually getting a power play of their own. The first power play unit had some chances, but it was the second unit that would convert. Side note: why is Yanni Gourde still on the second power play unit with a shot like this?
By the end of the period, the Kraken outshot the Flyers 12-6, and won the expected goals battle 0.7 – 0.2, per Natural Stat Trick. The game was tied 1-1.
The middle period saw Seattle again dominate in the shots department. This time they outshot Philly 11-5, and the total shot attempts were even more lopsided — 19 to 6 in favor of the Kraken. It took the Flyers over 11 minutes before they finally got a shot through to Philipp Grubauer.
One of the better scoring chances for Seattle came when Jaden Schwartz nearly batted one out of midair right in front of goaltender Martin Jones, but he didn’t get enough of it to get it through. And we can’t leave without mentioning the great play by Calle Järnkrok to take the puck away in the offensive zone, leading to two shots of his own, but nothing seemed to want to fall for Seattle. Through 2 periods of play, Seattle led:
The game remained tied 1-1.
The third period was much more back-and-forth than the first two. Philly seemed to come alive a bit and matched Seattle in shots and scoring chances. So naturally, this is the period that Seattle took the lead with Jeremy Lauzon’s first of the year, because who else was going to score in this weird as hell game but Jeremy Lauzon.
Aaaaaand it’s waved off for goaltender interference.
This one is so tough because it sure looks like the puck is nearly in the net when Schwartz makes contact with Martin Jones. But in the end, the overhead angle does show Schwartz bumping into the skate of Jones in the crease, before the puck is in the net, and while I definitely am far from an expert on goaltender interference (aren’t we all?) I’m not going to stew too long on this one getting overturned.
Fortunately for Seattle, they’d get it back anyway just a few minutes later when, once again, Jeremy Lauzon scored his first of the year!
Nobody within arm’s reach of Jones on this one, that’ll count! And the Kraken finally take the lead in a game in which they’ve dominated time of possession and scoring chances, with just over 5 minutes to play. All they have to do now is wind down the last-
Well, it was a good 15 seconds. Seattle has had a nagging problem with giving up a goal immediately after a tying or go-ahead goal of their own. My neck is legitimately in pain today and while I’m pretty sure it’s from sleeping on it wrong it’s not out of the question that it’s actually from the whiplash this swing of emotions gave me.
The Kraken have yet to win a game in overtime or shootout. That trend…continues.
That was one strange, frustrating game. Seattle should win a game they play like that 2 out of 3 times, according to Money Puck. But alas, sometimes it’s just not meant to be. Let’s hope they aren’t too burnt out from the extra period in this one, as they’ll play host to the Calgary Flames tomorrow night (barring
unforeseen circumstances) in Climate Pledge Arena.