Seattle, WA – In the second meeting of their young rivalry, the Seattle Kraken would fall to the Vancouver Canucks by a score of five to two. Vancouver would score three of their five total goals off of Kraken turnovers, a bad habit that Seattle desperately needs to ditch as we enter the new year. As the losing streak continues for the Kraken, what captain Mark Giordano said after the loss to Calgary rings true again; Seattle continues to find new ways to lose hockey games.
A positive to note for Seattle in the loss would be that they were able to create two goals off of creating chaos in front of the opposing goaltender. On the two Kraken goals, scored by Will Borgen and Calle Jarnkrok, Seattle was able to obstruct Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko’s view perfectly. In Seattle’s case, creating goals like this will more than likely be a necessity as their lack of consistent goal scorers is clear in addition to playing in a division with great goaltenders, including Demko of the Canucks. Head coach Dave Hakstol spoke on the screen in front of goal by Ryan Donato on Will Borgen’s goal, which would be Borgen’s first in the NHL.
“The net front play is just a big piece of his game, he’s always there. He’s very competitive in getting to those areas, he had a couple good opportunities throughout the game,” Hakstol said. He spoke mostly of Donato, who had come off of the COVID list prior to this game.
The obvious negative would be the defensive lapses, and at this point in the season it just seems like it’s one of a few issues that the Kraken continue to make every game. This games defensive mistake for Seattle would be turnovers around the net. Outside of giving the puck up in the most crucial area defensively, the Seattle defensive men played pretty well with a few exceptions. With that being said, turning over the puck anywhere near your net is extremely dangerous and Vancouver took advantage of it three times. Both head coach Dave Hakstol and defenseman Adam Larsson had thoughts on the defensive issues in the January 1st contest.
When asked about allowing goals after Seattle had scored for the third straight game, Adam Larsson stated “Trust me, we’re trying not to get scored on. It’s a hard league, something we really need to figure out, it’s been an issue for us. We have talked about it; we expect the push. I don’t know, it’s frustrating but at the same time we have had some answers for those goals too. So, it goes both ways.”
Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol had a different thought on the turnovers and response goals that the Kraken committed, saying “I don’t think that was our issue tonight, obviously they got the fourth one tonight, but that’s pretty low down on our list on the defensive issues that I look at defensively.”
No matter what way you look at things, the Kraken have a litany of defensive issues. They have been present all season, in exception to a seven-game stretch that saw Seattle beat three of the top teams in the league as well as the Edmonton Oilers. A factor that would instantly change the defensively play would be better chemistry and or communication within this team. That will likely not be a reality until later in the season or even next year, which is common with an
expansion franchise. There are too many small mistakes that come with Seattle’s players not knowing each other well enough, and that is common in expansion teams.
The Kraken will look to break their losing streak in their next game, January 6th against the Ottawa Senators with a 7PM PST puck drop at Climate Pledge Arena.