Only one player, stepping through the dressing room doors in Seattle Kraken history has scored an overtime game winning goal.
He wears number six, and his name is defenseman Adam Larsson.
The Kraken this season are 0-3 in games ending an overtime. On one hand, a routine 82 game schedule that’s only into mid-November, suggests it’s a small sample size. On the other hand, for the scope of a franchise history that’s close to 100 games old and carries a 1-8 mark in OT, it’s becoming tough to ignore.
Just ask their head coach.
“We’ve got to do better,” said Dave Hakstol.
The Kraken dropped their third overtime loss of the season, this one in excruciatingly painful fashion, 3-2 to the Jets on Sunday when victory was 3.9 seconds away, only to see Winnipeg score a six-on-four, extra attacker goal before the final horn .What led to the goal: Carson Soucy was whistled for roughing (and fined $2,500 by the league on Monday) for a sucker punch to the head on Pierre-Luc Dubois, after several visible seconds of physical jockeying between the two at Martin Jones’ net.
It only took 54 seconds into overtime for Mark Scheifele to end the game on a two-on-one break. Hakstol identified issues in comparison to when the Kraken lost their season opener, 5-4 to Anaheim, also in overtime.
“We were on the ice too long,” said Hakstol. “We’re taking one more stab at the offensive side, instead making a good decision to make a change with possession of the puck and reset, when we don’t like what we see. Just forcing it too much.”
Three points have now been left on the table for a team many are predicting will be in the playoff hunt. Those points are potentially precious.
To combat issues, the Kraken returned from a Monday off to skate through an hour-long practice and conclude it with a small area-style three-on-three mini scrimmage, where each net was brought in closer halfway to the blueline, forcing quicker decision making with the puck and reaction time.
Jared McCann said the lesson learned applies to an abrasive approach.
“Hard on pucks,” said McCann. “We've got to take care of the puck, focus on keeping your feet moving, making smart changes."
GRUBAUER IN, BURAKOVSKY OUT
Philipp Grubauer returned for more work with the main group, a positive indication he is closer to a return from injured reserve after leaving the Kraken win at Colorado on Oct. 19 with a lower body ailment.
He has been on the shelf ever since, with Joey Daccord, Chris Gibson, and the returned-from-Ottawa Magnus Hellberg cast in Martin Jones’ backup role for the time being.
“He shared the net today and that’s a good step in the process,” said Hakstol.
Hakstol said more evaluations would come over the next day or two to determine if Grubauer’s continued progress to game action, and a motivated Grubauer, along with the continued steady play of Jones, would give the Kraken a dynamic one-two punch in net.
Grubauer is 0-1-1 in three appearances with an .860 save percentage, but perhaps finding a rhythm before injury, where he made 17 saves against the defending Stanley Cup champs while the Kraken held off the Avalanche for a 3-2 win.
Jones ended Sunday night with the best goals-against average (1.64) and fifth best save percentage (.936) in the NHL since October 25 and is 7-4-2 in 13 games this season.
Burakovsky, who leads the Kraken with 14 points in 16 games, left practice early on Tuesday while Hakstol called his absence a likely “maintenance issue,” with a conversation still pending with the team’s training staff.
KRAKEN PRACTICE LINEUP, 11/15:
Wright / Kuhlman