from Larry Stone of the Seattle Times,
When the Seattle Kraken stood pat at the trade deadline earlier this month, it was portrayed as a vote of confidence in the players on hand by general manager Ron Francis. He stated that he didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry of a team that had surged into contention for the Western Conference’s top spot.
Francis’s judgment might indeed be proven right — and, indeed, the Kraken surged to three victories in a row in the immediate aftermath of the deadline. But two weeks later, the Kraken have hit a lull that, if not remedied, threatens to mute much of the good vibes they’ve built up all year.
It’s not crisis time, not even after Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Climate Pledge Arena, in which they fell behind a mere 95 seconds into the game and played catch-up the rest of the way. But with four losses in their last five games, it’s not unreasonable to wonder if some new blood might have proved energizing right about now.
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol was effusive about the effort of his players, who had to overcome the loss of goaltender Philipp Grubauer to an undisclosed illness midway through the second period.
“Our team played a good hockey game today. It was an even hockey game,’’ Hakstol said, while noting how difficult it is to play constantly from behind. “We worked extremely hard. And especially on the offensive side of the puck, we ground for our offensive opportunities and generated real good opportunities. … That’s why it’s disappointing. It feels bad.”
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