Yanni Gourde has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup, having helped the Tampa Bay Lightning to the past two NHL titles.
So what words of advice does he have for his new team, the expansion Seattle Kraken, as they attempt to snap a five-game losing streak when they play host to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night?
“We gotta start thinking one game at a time, one shift at a time. That’s all that matters,” Gourde said. “The next shift. The next guy up, let’s go. Let’s keep grinding. Let’s find ways. We can’t look too far ahead. Let’s win the next first shift, and then go from there.”
The Kraken are 0-3-0 on their current six-game homestand. That includes a 4-2 loss to Chicago on Wednesday in which they fell behind by three goals before Jared McCann and Gourde scored in the final 5:45 to get Seattle close. But the Blackhawks iced the game with an empty-netter.
That follows a recent pattern for Seattle. Fall behind early while giving up some odd-man rushes or breakaways, then rally late.
The Kraken put just three shots on goal in the first period Wednesday but, after falling behind 2-0 early in the second, peppered Marc-Andre Fleury with 16 shots in the middle period. Fleury ended up making 31 saves.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” McCann said. “We see it in video. There is no other way to put it: It’s frustrating, and we need to clean it up.
“I’m frustrated and I want to win. I think everybody does on our team. Things aren’t going our way right now. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s the way it is.”
The Avalanche have won three in a row, all without injured star Nathan MacKinnon (lower body).
Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and two assists Wednesday in a 4-2 victory at Vancouver.
Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar added a goal and an assist apiece, Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves and Colorado was 3 of 5 on the power play.
All three of Kadri’s points came with the man advantage as he extended his points streak to seven games (four goals, nine assists).
“Attention to detail lately, just trying to execute better, more tape-to-tape passes,” Kadri said of the power play. “Guys have been communicating a lot and just trying to dot our i’s and cross our t’s to execute at a high level. We’ve got the skill set out there, it’s just about executing the game plan, and (Wednesday) was one of our better nights on the power play.”
Trailing 2-1 early in the third, Kadri and Makar scored power-play goals 53 seconds apart to give the Avalanche the lead.
The Avalanche are 6 of 13 on the power play in the past three games without MacKinnon.
“For us, it’s just worrying about the one thing we can control and that being our work ethic,” Makar said. “(Wednesday) we got away from that a little bit in the second period and then we started getting back to it in the third, so when we play to our identity like that not many teams can kind of stop our play.”
–Field Level Media