Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken were dominated from the get go in their December 6th loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, by a score of 6-1. Pittsburgh kept constant pressure on whoever had the puck for Seattle, and despite some pushes that showed promise, the Kraken had no answers outside of a Jordan Eberle goal with 3:43 left to play in the second period. Coming off of a great win against the Oilers, this was an ugly loss to Pittsburgh with little to no positives to take away.
The first period was a nightmare for the Kraken, with several turnovers behind their own blue line, pucks going off their own players that would ricochet into the net, and play reminiscent of the six-game losing streak just a few weeks ago. Philipp Grubauer would be taken off just five minutes into the game, but it is tough to blame all three of the first period goals on Grubauer.
Down by three goals, Seattle was able to get one back early into the second period on a delayed penalty thanks to Jordan Eberle. Joey Daccord, brought on after Grubauer was taken off, had a good game in goal until things started to fall apart late in the second period. Jake Guentzel would score late in the second period for the Penguins, followed by a Jeff Carter goal just 23 seconds later to extend the lead to 5-1.
Seattle looked like the team from the first few weeks, or from the 7-3 loss to the Avalanche on November 19th. Getting caught puck watching against a veteran team like Pittsburgh will more than likely result in a goal. Turnovers behind your own blue line and not being in the right position defensively were traits that were tied to this team earlier in the season, before the wins against Washington, Carolina, and Florida. Making those sloppy mistakes and going down early set Seattle up for failure, as Pittsburgh plays great defense and has the league’s best penalty kill.
Jordan Eberle, Jamie Oleksiak, and head coach Dave Hakstol would all speak on the factors that made this loss unacceptable.
“I’d like to say we need to learn from that, but that just can’t happen. It’s that simple… We get sloppy on a couple breakdowns, leave our goalie out to dry, and the games over,” said Eberle. Eberle would go on to talk about how this loss could simply be looked at as something that “can’t happen. Just can’t happen.”
Defenseman, and former Penguin, Jamie Oleksiak talked about how crucial it is to play your best game against Pittsburgh, saying “I think it comes down to a matter of details. I don’t think we were ready to go off the hop, the team we were playing against is going to get their chances, and they took advantage of that. I, personally, think I could have had a better start there.”
The game started out rough right from opening puck drop, and head coach Dave Hakstol dove into how that happened, saying “We gave up three on the first four shots. That’s indicative on the start of our team.” Hakstol was asked about Grubauer’s play, and had this to say “I’m not going to speak on any one individual performance… We weren’t sharp to start the hockey game. It is disappointing to come off of arguably our most complete performance a couple of nights ago, it’s disappointing to come out with that type of a start tonight.”
The Kraken will look to wipe this game from their memory and get back on the winning track against the Winnipeg Jets, who come into town on Thursday, November 9th with a 7PM PST puck drop.