"We can't come off this break slow": Kraken crank compete level on Tuesday

Minnesota Wild v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 13: Ryan Donato #9 of the Seattle Kraken has his shot stopped by Cam Talbot #33 of the Minnesota Wild during the second period on November 13, 2021 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken are 7-1-1 when they get to the third period opening face-off with a lead.

Their speedbump is at 0-4-1 in the last five games, where they have either been tied or trailing after 40 minutes. It’s led to the recognition of a basic physical fundamental to help get that inside track after 40 minutes, or re-align late, close games that have defined the tone for a whole week, with nothing on the slate for another six days until they play again, at Colorado.

Battle level was front and center after Tuesday.

Returning to Kraken Community Iceplex, the Kraken continued with an hour-long journey of details and consistent habits aligning with intensity through breakout, forechecking, three-on-three overtime simulation and special teams drills to build early leads, finishing in overtime, or holding onto leads or tie games the next shift after a goal.

That last part – the opposite happened last three games, where the Kraken surrendered a goal on the next shift or inside a minute after they scored a critical third period goal. It’s commanded attention to one basic fundamental.

“It’s just compete,” said defenseman Carson Soucy. “I know we’re just going against each other in practice but there’s no more time to take it easy on each other like in training camp. We’re right in the mix of the season so we’ve got to play each other like other teams so we can be ready for when we come back.”

“We can’t come off this break slow.”

“In general, our group practice is hard,” said Hakstol. “If I can be blunt, the competitiveness of our practice has to increase. At times, our practices are too nice. There are certain drills that have to be competitive and game like. That’s an area we’d like to see improve in our team.”

Hakstol said there isn’t a checkpoint where he feels the complete goal is reached within one or two days. Rather, it’s a time-over-time repetition that will manifest into a fully refined philosophy before the Kraken visit the Avalanche, and dive right in for four games in six days.

By the time they wake up next Monday morning in Denver, because of COVID postponements and the holiday break, they will have played only three games in 24 days.

“One or two days of going hard, you have to take care of today – so that’s excellent,” said Hakstol.“I’m happy with the concentration level once we got going, and our effort and compete level. But it’s a measure over time.”

Hakstol also said “there’s a line” in practice when it comes to being so competitive, that you risk injuring a teammate. But within the boundaries of applying the brakes, there’s a pledge to push the limit as much as possible: simulating the “how far can you go to win your battle, one on one” approach.

“The game comes down to a lot of fifty-fifty battles,” said Hakstol. “But within the team game there’s a lot of us versus them type of battles. You have to get close to that edge as you possibly can in practice or else there’s no way it’s going to consistently happen in practice.”

Those habits are a part of turning around the trend of the “quick response” goals that have victimized the Kraken over the last three games.

“When it’s happened before it deflates your team,” said Soucy. “You can say all the right things on the bench and stay positive on the bench, but it’s just hard to bounce back from when other teams are so good and so competitive, and that’s hard to do.”

Notes: the Kraken reassigned goaltender Joey Daccord and Kole Lind to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL … defenseman Jeremy Lauzon and Alex Wennberg remained in COVID-19 protocol … Jaden Schwartz did not skate, still out with an upper body ailment that is on a day-to-day recovery period.

Kraken practice line combinations and pairings:




Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content