Reuniting hockey under the guise of Seattle vs. Montreal for the first time in 102 years, the Kraken’s season best offensive output hung five goals on the Canadiens (after they hung a banner of reverence to the Seattle Metropolitans), with two by Brandon Tanev, in a convincing 5-1 win by the Kraken on Tuesday at Climate Pledge Arena.
A delayed franchise first was delayed no more: they sealed their first home win in Kraken history, extending the roar of 17,151 souls who dug out their camera phones and Instagram app for the final ten seconds of the game, when a standing ovation deservedly sent the Kraken into victory bliss for the night.
This one wasn’t close, and it sent the Canadiens into a deeper tailspin at 1-6: the Kraken left them chasing a game for the sixth straight time, with Montreal’s opponent scoring the first goal of the game for six games in a row (did you know: four times, the opponent has scored in the first 10 minutes or sooner).
-Jordan Eberle, for whatever reason had his production stuck like tires in the mud, is finally out of it: a no-doubter snap shot just 62 seconds into the game finally earned his first goal with the Kraken, seven games into the season.He also finished with four shots and three takeaways in 18:14 of ice time.
-Brandon Tanev, who at this point could sell hair shampoo/conditioner and it would fly off the shelves, earned his second multi-goal game of the season, and first time he's earned multiple two-goal games (or more) in a season.
-Yanni Gourde’s multi point game has him now at three points in three games. And about that philosophy that players take five games to get up to speed? He’s only three games in, generating quality scoring chances and performing from “solid” to “lights out” at the face-off circle (he won eight of 11 draws against Montreal).
-Mason Appleton, falling awkwardly to the ice after drawing a holding penalty in the second period from Montreal’s Sami Niku, would not return. Head coach Dave Hakstol said an update wasn’t available, with more information likely available Wednesday morning.
-Philipp Grubauer: 23 saves on 24 shots – and his most dazzling save came on one that would define the frustration for the Canadiens all night. Brendan Gallagher, in the first period, was wide open at the left circle. Grubauer’s pad slammed that door on a Gallagher one-timer.
-Did you know: the Kraken win was only the eighth time in 27 tries that an expansion team defeated Montreal in their first matchup (8-16-3).
-Lineups would be a near game-time decision, with not much variation from the previous day’s practice. Ryan Donato made his return (and in grand fashion, put a bow on the game with a third period, backhanded breakaway) in place of Nathan Bastian, and Haydn Fleury jumped back in, replacing Carson Soucy.
FROM THE PODIUM:
Head coach Dave Hakstol on the difference of tonight versus previous games:
“Well we got off to a good start which always helps in your home building, which helps with momentum. It was a good start and we were able to complete a good first period. The difference tonight versus (Saturday) is we were able to build on that lead. It was Gourde’s goal and Tanev’s goal that in transition that allowed us to build that lead and build that breathing room.”
Hakstol with the team’s progress with performing at elevated speed:
“We were similar to a couple of nights ago – we were able to complete a couple of those plays, that was a big difference. We still have work to do in our execution in some of that, with our ability to get up ice. But when you score off transition and off the rush, those are huge positives.”
Jordan Eberle on scoring the first goal and build on the lead early:
“When you score on the first shift, it gives the team momentum and the crowd going. You get the crowd amped up early. They score to tie, and we get another one right away. For the most part I liked our game and in times there can be a lull, but we continued to play well, transition quickly and got a couple goals off the rush. For the most part it was as solid sixty minutes.”
Eberle on the perception the Kraken played more relaxed versus Saturday:
“The biggest thing is getting the first game under your belt. I won’t say pressure, but you feel anxiety of playing in the first career game in this building. With that out of the way, the boys felt at ease. We had a good practice yesterday and got used to the building a little bit; that all worked to our advantage.”
Eberle on getting out of his scoring slump:
“I’m going to continue to say it – you’ll get chances, and if they don’t come, you start worrying. In the first six games I had two to three really good looks in each game. Sometimes they don’t go in. You pot one (tonight) first shift and I had three to four good looks tonight. The biggest thing is creating those chances and be good other side of the puck. That’s the biggest thing I’ve tried to add to my game, on Long Island last three to four years is a good 200 foot game, being good wall player, and having a good stick. As you get older you want to be more of a complete player and as you get into the playoffs – and realize that’s what it takes to win.”