Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken fell to the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 4-2 on Wednesday contest. The Kraken would battle another member of the NHL’s “original six” in the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that has been surrounded by controversy this season. With that being said, Chicago has been playing better after a poor start, and that trend would continue in Seattle. The Blackhawks held a three-goal lead late into the third period, putting the nail in the coffin with 26 seconds left to play via open net goal.
Centers Yanni Gourde and Jared McCann were credited with the goals from tonight’s loss, both coming within the final six minutes of the game. The McCann goal was a product of chaos in front of the net, disrupting Chicago goaltender Marc Andre Fleury and creating a distraction big enough to give McCann a great look. Seattle would carry that momentum into the Gourde goal, but it would all came far too late for Seattle.
Some of the worrying trends for this team were showcased once again in this game, including starting slow and not being able to score in outside of power play situations. Yanni Gourde, Jared McCann, and HC Dave Hakstol spoke on those issues in the post-game press conference.
“We can’t hope that we’re going to get back in games in the last minute,” a frustrated Gourde stated. “I thought we looked good on the six on five, but we have to start figuring out how to score goals five on five.”
“Obviously we need to have better starts, we can’t be chasing the game the whole time. For some reason we start to play better when we’re behind,” remarked McCann. “It’s definitely frustrating. We know it, we see it on the video, there’s no other way to put it. It’s frustrating and we need to clean it up.”
“Tonight, really wasn’t a slow start, we gave up one outnumbered in the period, it was an elite play. I think they skated better in the first, I don’t think it was a poor period by us, but the end result was that we were down by one,” Hakstol said. Hakstol took a different viewpoint to the teams start then both McCann and Gourde did, citing the shots on goal that the team was able to generate as compared to Chicagos.
Defensive breakdowns, inability to finish, and slow starts are three main things that you can see in all of the Kraken losses this season. Seattle must figure out how to take advantage of the barrage of shots they put on opposing goaltenders’ night in and night out. Getting off to better starts is another crucial point, as it is hard to play every game down by a few goals and effectively being in catch-up mode.
With the loss, the Kraken drop to a record of 4-11-1 and remain at eighth in the Pacific division. On a five-game losing streak, their next contest takes place against the Colorado Avalanche on November 19th with a 7PM PST puck drop at Climate Pledge Arena.