Seattle, WA – In their second home opener in franchise history, the Seattle Kraken were blown out 5-2 by the Las Vegas Golden Knights. After a semi-successful three point start over two games, the Kraken looked like the same team from year one in their first game inside Climate Pledge Arena this season. The Kraken will need to shore up their continued defensive issues even they truly plan to improve off of their inaugural season. The Kraken remain winless against Las Vegas, now losing all five contests against the Golden Knights in their existence.
The main issue for Seattle in their first year, and now being carried over into their second year, is the poor play from the defenseman that usually hangs their goaltending out too dry. Yes, there has been some poor play from the Kraken goaltenders, but the vast majority of the time the Seattle defense just plays incredibly unorganized. In the first period of this game, the Kraken failed to remain in their defensive assignments, following the puck and allowing open ice for easy shots on goal. Head coach Dave Hakstol discussed his team’s defensive miscues postgame.
“We weren’t sharp with the puck. Right from the start of the hockey game, we were stuck in quick sand for the first ten minutes of this game and couldn’t get our feet going. From there, once we steadied our game a bit, we didn’t execute with the puck. Looking at the opportunities that we gave them in transition right off of our tape, whether it be on entry, slow forechecks. We put pucks in bad areas and just didn’t get there, as well as other turnovers. They killed us on transition,” Hakstol remarked.
Seattle was finally able to break the five-goal shutout, but not until late in the third period. Offseason signing Justin Schultz was able to find the back of the net on a wide-open trail to the net. Assistant captain Jordan Eberle found Schultz wide open, and simple one-timer beat Adin Hill in goal for Las Vegas. To get their second goal of the night, another new addition chipped in as Andre Burakovsky lasered a pass to Jaden Schwartz right in front of the net for a chip in. Alas, these were too little too late for Seattle. Despite his goal that broke the shutout, Schultz opted to reflect on what went wrong in this game.
“I don’t think we had the energy we had in the first two games for whatever reason. It was a tough back-to-back, not much rest, but that’s no excuse. We gotta start better. With a start like we had tonight, it’s up to us to start better,” Schultz said.
Despite showing offensive and scoring improvements through their first three games, the Kraken remain in a decently similar situation to their first year of play because of how poorly their defense has played overall. While it is still early, Seattle brass has said that they want to and aim to compete this season. With losses like this still occurring, head coach Dave Hakstol needs to find a way to get his defensemen’s head on straight going forward, or the Kraken may find a second head coach sooner rather than later.
The Kraken will continue a tough three game homestand when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to town on Monday, October 17th. Seattle will welcome the 2-0-0 Hurricanes to Climate Pledge Arena looking to bounce back, which isn’t totally out of the question when we take a look at the last time these two hockey teams met here. The
Kraken were able to upset Carolina with a late Marcus Johansson wrap around, so hopefully Seattle can find another gritty win over the Hurricanes in this one.