The Kraken Must Win Tonight

The Kraken are a thrilling team to watch, but they’re also extremely frustrating. For a team that was sixth in the league in goals scored, and a team that allegedly led the league in goals scored in 5 on 5 situations, you’d think they’d be better in power play situations. Anecdotally, I can see in other games where teams are easily able to whip the puck around and find some openings to get some shots on goal.

Yet, the Kraken can’t seem to do a fucking thing with the puck! They’ve got Avalanche players in their face, they’re constantly getting it knocked out of the zone, and worst of all, the Kraken seem so fucking nonchalant about getting the puck back into the opposing zone. I mean, what’s this shitty thing they do where they keep passing it back and passing it back, until they’ve got four guys at the blue line and one trying to bust through a line of scrimmage of sorts. All it does is waste precious fucking time and give the opposing defense a chance to crowd the blue line, thereby making it more difficult to maintain possession in their zone and find scoring opportunities. Shots on goal during a power play feel like a motherfucking miracle whenever they happen! But, of course, none have a prayer of going in, because they’re usually shots from way out, in the brief instants where we have an opening.

In general, I don’t get why the Kraken so often try to slow things down. Even when they’re holding it for lines to change, it’s continued to be held for an inordinate amount of time afterward for some unknown reason. Yet, when do we see the Kraken at their best? In that frenzy of the first few minutes of the game, when the Kraken are pushing the issue, have the defense on its heels, and scoring before they even know what’s what. That’s the kind of play we saw throughout game 1, and for the first half of game 2, before we went into our turtle shells and hid out for the remainder of regulation.

For the third game in a row, the Avalanche won over 55% of faceoffs, which leads to a much easier time for them offensively. Hence the 6-4 victory. The fact that we even scored a power play goal at all was lost on me after the Avalanche went up 6-3 on an empty-netter; I turned the game off and went back home at that point. Meaningless, if you ask me; what incentive did Colorado have for putting any effort into stopping us, with so little time remaining? We still had double their power play opportunities (6 to 3) and did next-to-nothing with them. At home. In our first-ever home playoff game. In front of some extremely loud and rowdy fans. I was proud of them, at least.

Also, the Kraken are just sloppy with the puck. There are too many giveaways in every game; I don’t know how you clean that up. Maybe that’s it. Maybe we try to push things, that leads to giveaways, and then the coach reins the team in? I dunno. It’s just frustrating. You can see they’re a good team, but something’s holding them back. Maybe it’s coaching, maybe it’s youth, maybe we’re just one or two good players away from being great.

It was nice to see Jaden Schwartz get a couple goals, as well as Matty Beniers get his first-ever playoff goal (to tie the game in the second). And Jamie Oleksiak had a nifty move 19 seconds before Beniers scored, to start to turn things around. I’ll also give it up for our own power play defense, which has thus far shut the Avalanche out through three games. But, that non-power play defense has A LOT of growing up to do, because there are far too many breakaway opportunities against Grubauer. I’ll say this, he didn’t play as bad as the final score indicates. One of those six goals was from an empty net. At least two were on giveaways that they beat him in one-on-one situations.

I see these other teams with crisp, precision passing. I see the Kraken often flailing their sticks around, not really aware of where the puck is going. I dunno man, clean it up!

Game 4 is tonight in Seattle. If we don’t win and tie up this series, consider it over. As I said before and I’m sure I’ll say again, we can’t beat this team three in a row.

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