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Over And Out: Kraken 2, Blackhawks 0

What was that?

Seattle Kraken v Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat of the Chicago Blackhawks checks Cale Fleury of the Seattle Kraken in NHL action
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks lost 2-0 to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night, just the second team to be shutout by the Kraken this season.

After a scoreless first period that saw the Blackhawks outshot 10-2 in the first 10 minutes and 17-3 across the full period, Alex Wennberg scored on a breakaway to open the scoring 47 seconds into the second:

Wennberg froze Jake McCabe in place before stickhandling Kevin Lankinen out of position in net.

Halfway through the game, the Blackhawks still hadn’t reached 10 shots on goal.

The Blackhawks got a 5-on-3 opportunity near the end of the second period as Taylor Raddysh drew back-to-back penalties, including a double minor high-sticking call. The Blackhawks failed to score on the 5-on-3 advantage and on the power play altogether.

After blowing the opportunity, the Blackhawks took a penalty themselves, as Dominik Kubalik went to the box for hooking, but were able to kill off that penalty.

The Blackhawks hit the post several times in a power-play opportunity in the third period, but went without scoring.

The Kraken scored another goal before the game was over, as Jordan Eberle picked up a loose puck near the offensive blue line and sniped past Lankinen, all but guaranteeing a Seattle win.

The Blackhawks shortly thereafter pulled Lankinen, but all for naught in a 2-0 defeat.

Notes

  • The highlight of the game is the announcement that Marian Hossa’s No. 81 will be retired, the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired with the Blackhawks. Hossa is the first of the Cup core to have his number retired (not the last) and has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.
  • Hossa also said he’s in discussions with the new management on a potential role with the team. Can he coach? Not a lot of people thought Martin St. Louis could and look what’s happened in Montreal. Give Hossa 11 games, eh?
  • Seriously, the worst thing the Blackhawks could have done is this on Marian Hossa Night. Yes, it wasn’t the official retirement ceremony, but we didn’t know that was happening until tonight. Michal Roszival was sitting next to Hossa and I’d rather have had him on the ice than some of the current Hawks.
  • This is the kind of game, after losing to the Coyotes Sunday, that gets a coach fired. And the argument is probably there for Derek King at this point. Yes, there’s 11 games left in the season, and the Blackhawks have nothing to play for, but they’ve now lost to two of — if not the — worst teams in the league. Seattle is maybe worse than Arizona when both rosters are fully healthy, and the Blackhawks got shutout. They put up nine shots in the first half of the game.
  • In the immortal words of a hick from Ontario: Figure. It. Out.
  • The Blackhawks were outshot 30-22 at 5-on-5, the Kraken generated more high-danger chances (10-6) and generated more expected goals (2.33-1.58). This is a team that struggles with offense and the Blackhawks made them look much more competent than they actually are (most nights).
  • In about two minutes of 5-on-3 time, the Blackhawks had zero shots on goal. Zero. The Blackhawks had four shots on goal in 6:55 of power-play time and they all came at 5-on-4. You know how bad you have to be to blow nearly a full session of 5-on-3 time, against the Kraken, with some of the league’s worst goaltending?
  • The other team shutout by the Kraken is the Islanders, you know, the team massively struggling and well under expectations? Those guys.
  • You want some good news, do ya? Here’s some: Lukas Reichel got into this game, actually played some time (15:04) and generated a high-danger chance, two shots on goal and a takeaway. There’s your dose of serotonin.
  • Oh yeah, Alex Vlasic also played but was limited to just 10:16 because apparently Caleb Jones and Erik Gustafsson still needed to play about 20 minutes each.
  • You can’t put this game on Lankinen in any way, shape or form. The Blackhawks allowed 2.39 expected goals against and Lankinen allowed two. He finished the night with a .935 save percentage and was eight of nine from high danger. This should have been a win for the goaltender if he got any goal support at all.
  • This game sucked. I don’t know what else to tell you. Some lines did okay, the combination of Jonathan Toews and Lukas Reichel seemed to work with two different partners (Sam Lafferty and Kirby Dach) and Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Patrick Kane still had a 61.11% shot share (but a 45.31% expected-goal share). Everything was just bad, and it gets worse when score and venue adjusted.
  • Fire King. Hire Hossa. That’s it.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Jordan Eberle (SEA) — 1 G, 1 A
  2. Philipp Grubauer (SEA) — 29 saves, 2.09 xGA
  3. Alex Wennberg (SEA) — GWG

What’s next

The Blackhawks remain in Chicago to take on the Dallas Stars on Sunday at the United Center at 6 p.m.