Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning by
a score of one to four in their March 16th matchup. Pregame, the team
honored defenseman and team captain Mark Giordano for playing in
1,000 games. Former Lightning player Yanni Gourde scored the
game’s first goal just three minutes in to the opening period. After that,
it was all Tampa Bay as the Lightning scored four unanswered goals.
One of the few positive notes to take from the game was captain Mark
Giordano being honored for playing in 1,000 games. The first captain
in Kraken franchise history was given a silver stick to commemorate
the achievement, his teammates bought Giordano a Rolex, and his
family was on hand to celebrate. Despite not putting up flashy
numbers, Giordano has been a fan favorite ever since he was
selected in the expansion draft. It was an interesting night for
Giordano, as the morning before the game it was announced that he
wouldn’t participate in the game. This comes as no surprise, as
Giordano is extremely likely to be traded before the March 21st
A glaring negative in this game was that Seattle gave the Lightning,
the back-to-back defending champions, six power play opportunities.
The Lightning power play has been together for years, winning those
two Stanley cup titles in that span. Their chemistry makes the
Lightning special teams’ unit as dangerous as any in the NHL, and
Seattle learned that the hard way. Seattle’s own power play suffered,
as despite the Kraken drawing 5 penalties, only one resulted in a goal.2
Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol reflected on the special teams play
in the game.
“Tampa’s gonna get their pushes. We took too many penalties in the
first 40 minutes…. first four in the first couple of periods puts you in a
tough spot. There was a lot of special teams both ways, so the flow
was a little stop and go… that third goal thanks to some mass chaos
created some separation for them,” Hakstol reflected.
The Kraken sit at an awkward point in the season. A trade of captain
Mark Giordano has been in the cards for a few months, and now the
NHL trade deadline draws near. It was announced the morning of the
game that Giordano was being held out of the lineup. No injury, no
illness, just held out. Teammate Calle Jarnkrok was traded to
Giordano’s former team, the Calgary Flames, just two hours prior to
puck drop. With a quality forward being traded hours before a game
and the team captain on the move next, the Kraken are in an odd
position. Alternate captain Jordan Eberle spoke on the business of the
“It’s part of the business. We understand the situation that we’re in,
guys are gonna get traded. They’re gonna do what’s best for the
organization. It happens every year, so it should really be no
surprise… we’re big boys. It’s a league based on winning, a business
based on winning. When you’re not doing that, changes have to be
made and you have to do what is best for the organization… at the
end of the day, we are still trying to be here. We have 20 games to
see who wants to be here,” Eberle stated.
What Eberle said at the end there should be important to Kraken fans.
A player wearing an alternate captain patch, an All-Star this year,3
stated that he wants to be here and wants to see who else feels the
same. Seattle should have a solid core heading into next year
hopefully of McCann, Eberle, Gourde, Schwartz. The team will have
Matty Beniers up next year and another high draft pick this season. In
addition to all that, general manager Ron Francis said that the team
expects to be aggressive in free agency. The tools for the Kraken to
be successful next season are available. They just need to be used
Seattle’s next matchup is March 19th against the Detroit Red Wings at
Climate Pledge Arena, with a 7PM PST puck drop.