Seattle, WA – A desperate and angry Ottawa Senators team came into Climate Pledge Arena, looking to gain valuable points in their pursuit of a playoff berth while also having the task of ending Seattle’s five-game win streak. Ottawa pounced on the home team early, punching in three goals within the first ten minutes, but nearly blew that lead in stunning fashion. The Kraken were able to battle back in a scrappy way, but ultimately Seattle’s failure to clear the puck from their zone and turnovers in that zone resulted in numerous self-inflicted wounds that they couldn’t overcome.
The defensive aspect of the Kraken has been an issue throughout their existence, and even during their win streaks as well as overall turnaround this season, that remains an issue. Seattle defenseman Vince Dunn compared tonight’s loss to the one the team suffered against Boston last month, and he’s right to do so considering that both contests saw the Kraken fight hard, score a lot but ultimately fall because of their defense. Ottawa’s goals tonight can all fall into two ugly categories: The Kraken failing to clear the puck from their own zone, leaving a Senators skater unmarked/alone, or sometimes both. The Kraken started the game out making those sorts of mistakes, and it set them back too far. Had that start not occurred and Seattle got out on the right foot, that big deficit doesn’t come to fruition and the Kraken settle in to play their game against an offensive-minded squad.
“I think we were a bit casual and relaxed in the first ten minutes. Our recipe is pretty simple; it’s pucks north and establish a forecheck, that’s when we start to build our game and we definitely didn’t do that in the first 20 minutes as a whole. We turned it around, gave ourselves a chance to win, we just need to find a way to do it, Vince Dunn reflected.
Seattle forward Jared McCann is on some kind of tear, not only setting career marks but in doing so, giving his hockey club the best chance, they can get. The Kraken have seen many different faces play a part in their offense, and it has hardly ever been just one skater, but it’s hard to downplay what McCann has been doing since the calendar year of 2023 began. McCann, on today which is the year anniversary of him signing a five-year extension with Seattle, has tallied 17 points over the course of a 14-game stretch and 30 points over 31 games since January 1st. He’s been an incredibly valuable piece to this offensive attack, and you could potentially argue that he’s helped fill in the hole left by injured forward Andre Burakovsky.
“Just wasn’t good enough, start wasn’t good enough. We didn’t come ready. It was a pretty simple message; if we wanted to get back in the game, we had to figure it out, and we did that. At the same time, we have to have a full 60-minute effort,” Jared McCann said about the loss.
The Kraken will hit the practice rink tomorrow, looking to clean up some of their issues prior to the first of two big battles when the Dallas Stars come to town for two matchups in three days. The first of those two comes on Saturday, March 11th with a puck drop at 7PM PST. It will be a tall task for the Kraken to turn things around and be fully prepared for this Dallas team, who is coming off a 10-4 victory tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. To close out the month of March, Seattle will play nine games and seven of them are against teams that are jockeying for their playoff lives. Points will be harder and harder to come by for the Kraken, so they’ll have to find another gear quickly.