I will not spend the recap defaming the officiating, I will not spend the recap defaming the officiating, I will not—
The Florida Panthers spent the entirety of Saturday night’s game at less than even strength thanks to some cap conundrums caused by injuries to Aleksander Barkov and Anton Lundell that aren’t quite enough to send them to LTIR. Fortunately for the cats, the officials sent the Kraken to the box several times to put the squids legitimately* man-down.
*legitimacy of these penalties vary, exclusions may apply
The Panthers’ opening two goals came on some big juicy rebounds left alone after great saves by Philipp Grubauer. There were definite shades of 2021 Kraken defending on those early goals — at times when Seattle needed to either a) clear the puck out from in front of the net, or b) clear the opponent out of the front of the net, they opted for c) neither. It didn’t help that the second goal came on a power play after a failed goaltender interference challenge, when Marc Staal undeniably ran through Philipp Grubauer, but wasn’t near enough to the crease to warrant the referee waiving it off. Welcome to who’s goaltender interference anyway, where everything is made up and the reviews really matter.
Anyway, the Kraken came back firing in the second period, and we were gifted with Jared McCann’s fourth goal in five games after a real hard-nosed forechecking effort from the entire McCann/Eberle/Beniers line.
The momentum from this goal wasn’t enough to keep them within one, however, as a dubious call against Vince Dunn sent the Panthers to another power play, where they scored another power play goal. Aside from that, the second period was all Seattle — they outshot Florida 14-2, and out-chanced them to the tune of 1.6 expected goals to 0.5 expected goals, per Natural Stat Trick. Spencer Knight just played really, really well.
The third period featured yet another power play goal for the Panthers — their third of the night, and the ninth power play goal allowed by Seattle in their last four games. The 7-game win streak has overshadowed a very serious special teams issue with the team of late, and that’s something that’s sure to be a focus for head coach Dave Hakstol in practice this week.
Our squids are back in action on Tuesday when they host the Montreal Canadiens, which should be a great opportunity to restart this win streak.