The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season has already included some ups and downs.
A six-game losing streak was followed by a 5-1-1 stretch during which they beat some of the NHL’s top teams — Washington, Carolina, Florida and Edmonton — with the lone regulation loss in that span coming on the road against two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay.
For those who thought the expansion team might have turned a corner … well, there was trouble around it.
The Kraken suffered a 6-1 home loss to Pittsburgh on Monday, falling behind by three goals in the opening five minutes.
Seattle will look to get back on track when it plays host to Winnipeg on Thursday night.
Against the Penguins, goaltender Philipp Grubauer was pulled after allowing three goals on four shots.
“I won’t even speak to one individual performance,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “I mean, that’s indicative of the start of our team. We gave up three goals on the first four or five shots on goal, and we weren’t sharp to start the hockey game.
“It’s disappointing to come off arguably our most complete performance a couple of nights ago (in a 4-3 victory against Edmonton).”
Forwards Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz, the Kraken’s top two scorers, both returned Monday after missing two games with injuries. Eberle scored the lone Seattle goal.
“You give up three early in your building, that can’t happen,” Eberle said. “You give up home ice advantage the opposite way. I’d like to say we need to learn from that, but it just can’t happen.”
The Kraken might get a boost Thursday as captain Mark Giordano is eligible to return after a 10-day quarantine in a Tampa Bay-area hotel room following a positive COVID-19 test.
“It’s tough to sit in your room by yourself for 10 days,” Giordano told The Seattle Times after practice Tuesday. “But you just listen to the docs and our staff and talk to them daily and go from there.
“Thank God for iPads and phones and being able to FaceTime my family.”
The Jets wrapped up a four-game homestand, during which they went 2-2-0, with a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Tuesday night.
“I liked three of the four games. I felt we were good enough to win the (first) three,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “We weren’t good enough to win (Tuesday).”
Nikolaj Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored as the Jets erased an early two-goal deficit. But the Hurricanes restored that advantage with two power-play goals and Winnipeg failed to convert a five-minute man advantage in the third period.
“We did score a power-play goal (Tuesday),” said Ehlers, “but obviously when you’re behind 4-2 and you get a five-minute power play, you want to at least get some momentum going. And we weren’t able to do that. We’ll be better next game.”
This will be the first meeting between the Jets and Kraken and the first game against his former team (Winnipeg) for Seattle forward Mason Appleton, who was selected in the expansion draft.
–Field Level Media