Canadian 5 – Kraken 1 | Luckily it was the Kraken

(Seattle) Perhaps there is justice in this world after all.



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Leader of the NHL in defeats by one goal this season, often after holding his own for a good part of the match, the Canadian instead escaped Seattle with a crushing victory while frankly not having delivered a great performance.

However, life is sweeter when an opposing goalkeeper opens the floodgates like Philipp Grubauer did in the first half. It still has to be done: the visitors hadn’t yet had a great chance to score, but it was still 2-0, the result of two deflections – one from Jamie Oleksiak’s own goal and the other from Alex Newhook, rather skillfully it is true. After 20 minutes it was 4-0. And at the final siren, mixed with boos from the crowd, it was 5-1.

“We have already played much better in matches that we have lost,” admitted Kaiden Guhle afterwards. Maybe it’s the hockey gods giving us two points back. We’ll take them and get ready for Colorado. »

We can indeed argue that the Avalanche, the Canadian’s next opponent, will not be as lenient in the face of such a timid attack. Despite its five goals, including a gem from Mike Matheson in the second period, the CH did not generate much on the offensive level. Luckily it was the Kraken, ultimately, a club which has just suffered an eighth defeat in a row.

PHOTO LINDSEY WASSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Philipp Grubauer (31) had to give way to Joey Daccord (35) in the first period.

“Even if it wasn’t always pretty, we found a way to win,” greeted Newhook, author of two goals, almost three since he hit the post head-on in the last period. “Morale is low when defeats accumulate,” he recalled. This victory therefore has the merit of “giving energy” to the troops.

“It wasn’t all bad,” said Trevor Letowski, interim head coach. In the third period, we were no longer really looking to score or get shots. We wanted to play in a mature manner. » So as to simply protect this lead, we understand.

“And that doesn’t appear on the scoresheet,” added Letowski. Indeed.

Thank you Primeau

What appears on the said sheet, however, is the balance of shots on goal (37-17 for the Kraken), that of expected goals (4.27 against 1.16, still for the locals, according to the Natural Stat site Trick) and that of quality scoring chances (15-6), all phases of play combined.

In the circumstances, the final score confirms what our eyes saw. In the words of Trevor Letowski: Cayden Primeau was the best player on his club.

The American stood out from the first moments of the match, while the Kraken took the CH zone by storm. Faced with a series of free shots, he never seemed shaken.

PHOTO LINDSEY WASSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nick Suzuki

It continued throughout the evening, until late in the third, when he frustrated Andre Burakovsky with the tip of the skate.

“It’s difficult to play in this arena,” Primeau said. We knew they had lost a lot of matches and that they were going to come out strong. It’s always better when you lead than when you lag behind. »

Rarely, he indicated that he was disappointed by his warm-up period. He struggled to follow the puck with his eyes, he said. Consequently, he wanted to “be on point from the start of the match”. It happened.

The story could have changed in the second period when the Kraken was denied a goal. The restart, in fact, confirmed that there had been an offside in the sequence. However, if the goal had been good, it would have brought the score to 4-2, at a time when we felt the tide turning.

This event woke up the troops, confirmed Mike Matheson.

“We talked about it before the second period: we had to be ready to face a different team,” said the defender. And sure enough, they got off to a good start. So when their second goal was disallowed, it was our chance to do a reset. »

PHOTO JOE NICHOLSON, USA TODAY SPORTS

Mike Matheson scored a goal in the victory.

“We took advantage of our chances and we had a good performance from our goalkeeper,” Letowski finally summed up.

Everything is here. This isn’t exactly a desirable formula, at least not too often. As Guhle said so well, the offensive and defensive effort will have to be better in Denver, against an Avalanche who have won 10 of their last 11 games.

But as Newhook also said, a little victory from time to time is good for morale. Even if this one will not go down in history.

In details

First victory for Letowski

It’s certainly not the circumstances he dreamed of, but Trevor Letowski signed his first victory as head coach in the NHL. Remember, he occupies this position replacing Martin St-Louis, who left the team a little over a week ago for family reasons. The puck that was given to him after the game will remain a “very beautiful memory for him”, but the situation remains “uncomfortable” in his eyes, “given the circumstances”. “It was a memorable week for me, but mainly because of the way the team came together,” he said at the end of the evening. The staff and players worked together to maintain some sort of normalcy. »

Matheson has a blast

The Canadian doesn’t often score shorthanded; he had done it just four times in 69 games before Sunday, courtesy of Joel Armia and Sean Monahan (two each). Mike Matheson has now added his name to the list, and in a very good way. In the second period, while the Kraken was playing with an extra man, Jared McCann attempted a risky pass in the opposing zone, directly on Matheson’s stick. He set off, challenging poor Tomas Tatar who, tired and visibly unaccustomed to being the last player in retreat, never made the cut. After getting rid of Tatar, the Canadian defender served a masterful feint to goalkeeper Joey Daccord to score. “A world-class goal,” said Letowski. True words.

Grubauer in the showers

The last time the Habs won, they sent Elvis Merzlikins to the showers after less than six minutes of play. Sunday, the Montrealers screwed up another plume above their home. Philipp Grubauer gave up on the first two shots of the match, and on four of the six he faced in total. The last, an unthreatening shot from Alex Newhook that found its way between his pads, was fatal. Even with only two minutes left in the first period, head coach Dave Hakstol decided he had seen enough, and sent Joey Daccord on in relief. In 27 starts this season, it was the fourth time Grubauer was pulled from a game. In three years since he played in Seattle, the German has never finished a campaign with an efficiency rate equal to or higher than .900.

Simon-Olivier Lorange, The Press


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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