Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • November 30, 2021
Ouch: Gritty Philly Gives Seattle A Smackdown Welcome To The NHL

Ouch.

Seattle Kraken fans were jolted into reality on Monday after getting beaten up and bruised by the Philadelphia Flyers in the City of Brotherly Love.

The 6-1 final could have been a lot worse, and making matters even more horrible was a fight won handily by Philadelphia’s Nate Thompson over Seattle’s Nathan Bastian. It was Bastian‘s second foray into fisticuffs on the night. He was trying to stir something up, but it just didn’t work.

Known for its own gritty play in their first three NHL games, Seattle’s expansion team finally got out-grittied. I mean, come on, their opponents’ mascot (known as Gritty who is beloved and disliked in equal amounts) was named for a reason, right?

Nothing went right for the the Kraken, who were previously involved in three one-goal games, a loss, a win and an OT loss.

Nathan Bastian wasn’t the only Kraken player to get in a fight. Jamie Oleksiak, above, fought the Flyers’ Nick Seeler.

The lowest ebb of Seattle’s season so far began in the first period, right after Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made an unbelievable rob by somehow sliding over to glove an-in close Jordan Eberle chance.

The Flyers’ goals came quickly after that — Claude Giroux with a rocket ship disguised as a slap shot, Travis Konecny on his own rebound after taking a beautiful lead pass from Keith Yandle, Derick Brassard’s outside shot that caromed off the skate of Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy.

Boom-boom-boom — 3-0 with 5:24 still remaining in the first period.

Seattle’s swiss-cheese defense opened wide again 7:10 into the second period. That’s when Ryan Ellis, all alone in front, banged home a pass from Brassard for a hefty 4-0 lead. Justin Braun then popped in a shot off a pass from James Van Riemsdyk, making it 5-0 a minute and a half later. Joel Farabee finished the scoring for the Flyers in the third period.

But it wasn’t just offense that did it for Philadelphia. The Flyers were beating the Kraken to the puck all night, and, on top of that, the Flyers won most of the 50-50 battles. And Hart nearly got a shutout, making 24 stops.

“It was a great lesson for us,” Seattle winger Joonas Donskoi said afterward. “There’s a lot of things we did not do tonight, but it starts with just battles. Battling hard, forechecking, being out there for each other. I think we didn’t do any of that tonight, so I think that’s the main thing that we can learn. It happens. It would be real easy to start hanging our heads right now and doing all of that, but the good thing is we play again (Tuesday at the New Jersey Devils) and we know we can play. We’ve played some good hockey on this road (trip).”

Seattle goalie Chris Driedger got into a game for the first time this season, taking over for Philipp Grubauer after Philly’s fifth goal. He made seven saves, and he might get the start against the Devils on Tuesday to give Grubauer a rest.

Defenseman Carson Soucy was the lone Kraken goal scorer, potting one late in the second period off of his own rebound.

Carson Soucy scores Seattle’s only goal of the game.

Notes: Seattle center Alex Wennberg moved up to the first line with wingers Eberle and Jaden Schwartz. Jared McCann went down to the second line with wingers Donskoi and Kole Lind. Center Morgan Geekie and wingers Brandon Tanev and Ryan Donato played on the third line, with center Riley Sheahan and wingers Bastian and Mason Appleton on the fourth line. … The defensive pairings were Mark Giordano and Soucy, Jamie Oleksiak and Adam Larsson, and Jeremy Lauzon and Haydn Fleury. … Five Kraken players are on injured reserve: center Yanni Gourde (shoulder), wingers Colin Blackwell (lower body), Marcus Johansson (lower body) and Calle Jarnkrok (COVID-19 protocol), and defenseman Vince Dunn (undisclosed injury). … Two healthy scratches were winger Alex Barre-Boulet and defenseman Will Borgen.

Taryn Hatcher.

Also, Taryn Hatcher, formerly a Hawaii TV sports news broadcaster, is looking comfortable — as usual — in her role as a Flyers analyst for NBC Sports.

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ALSO at Bedrock Sports: The Seattle Kraken’s Brandon Tanev Works Like A Dog And Is Quickly Becoming A Fan Favorite
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