Seattle, WA – Coming off of the All-star break, the Seattle Kraken would fall to the second to worst team in the league, the Arizona Coyotes. The Kraken would put plenty of shots on goal, but Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka would have an incredible game between the pipes. With the 5-2 win, the Coyotes would take the season series over Seattle.
It would be the same old defensive story that we have grown used to with Seattle, as the Kraken had turnovers to blame as the cause of the first two Arizona goals. Consistent puck control has been an issue for the Kraken, and it would be no different in this contest as the inability to clear the puck or make a connecting pass would result in Arizona getting on the board. This is one of a few issues that for some reason, Seattle cannot overcome. Whether that is on coaching or the players, is to be seen over the remainder of the season. Head coach Dave Hakstol would talk about his defense after the loss.
“In reality, each of the three goals tonight, we were not sharp and clean with the puck. In reality, each of their three goals came off of our stick, one off of an entry two off of breakouts and exits out of our zone… The rust showed. We’re not making an excuse. When we’re sharp with the puck, we don’t have to defend as much,” Hakstol would remark.
Another major issue for the Kraken, in this game and in the last few games, would be Seattle’s power play. The Kraken are two for their last 35 on the power play, which is similar to the issues that the team had earlier in the year on special teams. Take that information into account, and then add that the Coyotes have the second worst penalty kill in the league. The same bad habits, back to bite Seattle. Head coach Dave Hakstol would speak on his team’s power play performance as of late.
“We had several good looks on our powerplays, I was happy with the amount of opportunities that we generated… We need one to go on our power play to give us a jump start. For our power play to really get going and feeling good. That would have been a great opportunity tonight to get one, but we could not find the back of the net,” Hakstol would state.
Lastly, this game would be closer than the final score would show. The Coyotes were able to get two open net goals as the Kraken pulled Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer in an effort to try to tie the game up, as the score was 3-2 in favor of Arizona with a little over four minutes to play in the final period. Seattle’s effort and constant fight are definitely something that they should be given credit for, considering that ten of the team’s losses have come by one goal. There is hope for this team yet in the remainder of the season to try and fully turn things around, but adjustments need to be made on issues that have hung around the Kraken.
Seattle’s next contest comes on Friday, February on the road against the Anaheim Ducks with a 7PM PST puck drop.