Kraken unable to fully summit against Avalanche, falling in overtime shootout

Photo by Aaron Nelson / fi360 News

Seattle, WA – The expression that a sport is a game of inches can be played out, but it rang especially true in the Saturday showdown of the Colorado Avalanche and the Seattle Kraken. The Avalanche bested
the Kraken in an overtime shootout, as both teams traded near misses throughout the first three periods and overtime. Ultimately, Seattle’s inability to finish on one on one with the goaltender did them in as Colorado goaltender Pavel Francouz’s perfect save percentage in shootouts remained squeaky clean. Despite recording a point in the loss, the Kraken fell to second in the division as Las Vegas won their game tonight.

Mere inches decided this contest between the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche and upstart Kraken, as both teams peppered each other’s goaltenders with chances in the high danger area. Several Kraken skaters made incredibly critical plays to keep the Avalanche off the board, cleaning up their own messes. A major example of this was defenseman Adam Larsson, who flung the puck back up the ice after it was slowly inching towards the goal line. Larsson’s heads up play wiped a goal off the board and kept his team in it. Unfortunately, Colorado was able to get the fortunate bounces necessary in the shootout as Seattle failed to score any of their three opportunities and the Avalanche converted twice. Adam Larsson discussed what it was like defending against the reigning champs with the media, postgame.

“You need the whole team to defend against a line like that. I thought we did a pretty solid job, didn’t give them too much. Obviously, we two can clean up some stuff, but we got one point out of this… It’s fun to play in a game like this, you’re playing last year’s champs, everybody was excited for this one. Obviously, we aren’t happy with the end result, but some good effort out there,” Larsson stated.

This Kraken team may be coming back down to Earth a bit following their eight-game winning streak, but this loss against the Avalanche is one that I’d consider to be constructive. Seattle has obvious areas from this loss that need to be improved upon, some with higher priority than others. The Kraken have not been relatively good at all when it comes to finishing in one-on-one situations against opposing goaltenders, and that must improve especially when it comes to breakaways and shootouts. Seattle looked like they had overcomplicated their shootout opportunities. Another one of those addressable areas is the ability to get greasy goals, something the Kraken failed to do in this game as well. Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol discussed how he felt about his teams effort, postgame.

“That was a battle, we were in the battle for 65+ minutes with the shootout. Obviously, it’s disappointing when you don’t win in the shootout and get the extra point. In terms of our effort, work level and battle, it was good throughout the hockey game. You’d like to be able to execute better in a couple situations, but it was that type of hockey game all the way through. Really proud of the guys for their effort and
consistency throughout the game, we were in the fight,” Hakstol stated.

The Kraken will get three scheduled days off following the loss, but the reality of it is that two of those days will include activities. Seattle is hosting it’s “Skills showcase,” an event geared toward the fanbase at
Climate Pledge Arena where the roster displays skills in several different competitions such as hardest shot, a relay race, and many more. Following the short-term break, the Kraken get back to the gauntlet of their January schedule when they host the pesky Vancouver Canucks. The two Pacific Northwest rivals will meet on Wednesday, January 25th with a puck drop of 7PM PST as Seattle still is searching for their first ever win over the Canucks.