Seattle, WA – In the final game of their opening homestand, the Seattle Kraken showed great fight in a near comeback effort against the St. Louis Blues.
That comeback effort fell just short, as the Kraken gave up the game winning goal in overtime to the Blues. Although this was Seattle’s third straight loss, going winless on their opening homestand, the Kraken locker room was much more chipper after this one. Seattle is happy with the resilience and effort that they showed, which could give them good momentum heading onto the road.
A sub-issue for the Kraken in relation to their general defensive issues has been their early game goal allowance, which pits the team in a hole right away. While Seattle was able to postpone the early goals past the first four minutes (an issue in the first game of the season and first two of the homestand), the Blues broke through seven minutes into the first period and then got two goals within 17 seconds of each other later on into the initial frame. The Kraken continue to put themselves in a hole early on, but the fight that Seattle showed today was a positive. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol spoke about the positives to take from this game.
“We played a good hockey game… we regained our composure and played a hell of a hockey game. I don’t think we’re in a funk… This is our hockey team, what you saw tonight. Tonight, is a good standard to go off of,” Hakstol stated.
Seattle forward Ryan Donato was a fan favorite last year, embodying an underdog spirit and always showing heart on the ice. While it wasn’t a certainty that he was going to return to the Kraken, Donato has already begun to pay dividends on his new one-year deal. Tonight’s performance was throwback Donato, as he made an impact all across the three periods. A fight in the first period defended rookie teammate Shane Wright, and ignited his time. A goal in the second period got his team back in the game and ignited the comeback that Seattle almost completed in order to get the two points. In addition to the fight and scoring, the goal Donato scored helped to give rookie teammate Shane Wright his first NHL point. Donato spoke about Wright, postgame.
“I don’t know why I’ve scored on Matty’s first point and now Shane’s, maybe it’s the young legs. Playing with Shane, he’s obviously new to a lot of the stuff that is going on around here. He’s gaining more confidence; I think people can see that. He’s fun to play with, and hopefully he can keep climbing and building off of what he’s doing,” Donato said.
While prevalent earlier on (see St. Louis goals number two and three), the Kraken seemed to be able to protect the puck slightly better as they settled in. Seattle actually was taking advantage of the poor puck management of St. Louis, who seemed to still be finding their footing in the early part of the season. It seemed like the Kraken were going to be able to swing the pendulum their way and pick up a good win until they again made a poorly timed and placed turnover. Justin Schultz failed to properly clear the puck in his own defensive zone, leading to an easy game winner for St. Louis. Until the Kraken can properly clean up their defensive mistakes, Seattle will not be able to unlock their full potential.
Following their winless opening homestand, the Kraken will head on the road for two games. The first of those two will be against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, this Friday, October 21st at 6PM PST. Seattle and Colorado will collide at Ball Arena, as both teams will look for a win after suffering losses in their previous contests.