The Seattle Kraken took to the ice for their first game in franchise history on Tuesday at the T – Mobile Arena in Vegas. Post-match Head Coach Dave Hakstol took a few minutes to reflect on Kraken’s first two meetings that leave them with a loss, a comeback, and a win in the space of 36 hours.
Vegas narrowly came away with two points which looked imamate halfway through the second period as Kraken fell behind by three.
Ryan Denato’s goal in the 11th minute of the second period injected life in the Kraken team as he scored their first goal in franchise history. One minute later Kraken’s momentum overpowered as Jared McCann put another past Vegas cutting the deficit to 1.
Hakstol blamed the momentum change of the game on a powerplay given to the Kraken before the goal.
He said: “The powerplay got us going at the start of the period. We seemed to be on our heels a lot for the first half of the period but then we drew a penalty, and I could see the powerplay got us going. I thought that turned the momentum towards us for the final seven or eight minutes of that period.”
“There were a lot of momentum swings during the hockey game and some of those swings came off Vegas’ transitions. We fed off them a bit too much at times and spent a lot of time in our own end. This is one of those buildings where big momentum changes can dictate a game. In the second period they become really clear but one way you can prevent that is by being able to take care of the puck and start shifts fresh with the puck so you’re not always defending and can create chances.”
Although Seattle didn’t finish their first franchise game with the win, there were a lot of positives to take into their match up in Nashville less than 24 hours later.
Hakstol added: “Being able to push back to tie it 3-3 it says a lot about our group and how we can stick together and make good plays. it’s really disappointing to not come away from the game with 2 points.”
After arriving at the Bridgestone Arena, it was clear that the powerplay would shine as two powerplay goals and a sublime back door pass was enough to hold off the Predators and take the 4-3 victory.
In a post-match press conference, Hakstol was ecstatic with the result and emphasises how important that win was.
He said: “It’s good to get the win and the first one in franchise history. It feels different to any other type of win, and I think you could see that within us in our play in the 3rd period guys were calm and pretty focussed. It’s a real big deal for everybody.”
“We were down by one, but a big hit and a great scrap turned the momentum towards us. We earned a powerplay and used it in our favour, it helped that the powerplay unit did a very good job in pushing us in the right direction.
“In the second period we did a great job, and we won the line change game, especially in the second half of the period we were able to hold the puck and get good line changes. I thought we had better energy and that led to timed possession. There wasn’t a lot of chances either way during that period but in terms of the way we want to play it was good period for us on the road.”
“We were better than last night a step in the right direction in our transitions. Guys on the back end started to join the rush and, in that department, we were much better we didn’t get beat up ice and that cuts down outnumbered rush’s against entering our zone which clams everything down and settles everything down for us.”
The Kraken face the Flyers and New Jersey Devils next before their first opening home game in franchise history on the 23rd of October against the Canucks.