Kraken end 2022 with nightmare blowout loss to Oilers

Seattle Kraken (Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News)

Seattle, WA – To end the year of 2022, the Seattle Kraken concluded a poor month of December with a disastrous loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Right out of the gate the Kraken defensemen were out of position and leaving Oilers skaters completely unmarked, resulting in three quick goals just under four minutes into the game. Seattle never recovered from the haymaker Edmonton threw after the opening whistle and were brutally embarrassed on their own home ice.

A goaltender swap after the third Oilers goal failed to provide the effect desired by Seattle, as Edmonton stacked on four more scores after Martin Jones came into the game. A third straight loss continues Seattle’s free fall down the standings, now sitting at fifth in the Pacific Division.

Any presumed positive notions quickly were negated as Edmonton forced a penalty two minutes in, sending their top ranked power play unit out against Seattle’s near-league bottom penalty kill. It only took Connor McDavid 40 seconds to find teammate Zach Hyman completely unmarked on a back door pass to score. 32 seconds later, Seattle got caught in an odd-man rush which led to Klim Kostin being left completely unmarked for a tap-in goal. 39 seconds later, a turnover by Seattle in the offensive zone was taken 200 feet as Edmonton caught the Kraken in a three on two opportunity, where Darnell Nurse was left with all the room in the arena to shoot, scoring the third Edmonton goal in only four minutes of this game being underway. Seattle defensemen Adam Larsson spoke about those opening minutes to the media, postgame.

“They’re a dangerous team, obviously we need a better start, but tonight was more of a 60-minute issue. Just wasn’t good enough. It was a lot of things. Every team goes through a stretch or a game like this, obviously we’ll talk about it and see what we did wrong. We can do a lot of things better, we can be a lot sharper, play a lot faster as a team. It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing,” Larsson reflected.

These past three games have been of solid importance for Seattle, considering that they have all been against divisional opponents and two of those opponents were just points behind in the standings. Those teams, Calgary and Edmonton have now overtaken you in the standings. Las Vegas and Los Angeles seem like they may be able to run away with the top two spots in the division. Things are going to get intense very quickly, especially considering that the January schedule for Seattle includes five divisional contests and six games against teams that are at the top of league standings. Too often you can find examples of lacking effort, failure to sacrifice for the team, and an inability to play the full 60 minutes. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol had an excellent challenge for his team when it came to the upcoming stretch.

“We have to make that decision, as a hockey team. Whether we are satisfied with the level of play that we have had that has gotten us to this point, or whether we are willing to make that decision to push to the next level. Not just through the next two home games here or through that upcoming road trip, but through the remainder of the season. We have to make that decision as a group, whether we’re ready to make that investment on a day-to-day, game-to-game basis in order to step up the level. That’s exactly what has to happen, our play has to elevate as the stakes continue to get higher and then the games continue to get tighter and tighter,” Hakstol stated.

Seattle will have a day of practice before the final game of their three contest homestand, when they battle the New York Islanders for the first time this season. Puck drop is at 5PM PST for the Kraken’s third consecutive nationally televised game, as Seattle needs a bounce back effort to break the funk of their three-game losing streak.