Fuelled by their first win of the season against the Detroit Red Wings, the Canadiens embarked on their annual California trip. Except that this time, there was one more stop to make before reaching the Golden State. For the first time since the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals, Montreal played a game in Seattle, Washington. Ironically, it was during the Spanish Influenza pandemic back then. With the series tied at two, health officials were forced to cancel the deciding game of the series and the Stanley Cup was not awarded that year.
Tuesday’s game was a showdown between the NHL’s oldest and most successful franchise and the league’s newest shiny toy. Expanding in this true hockey market was long overdue as many on the West Coast are thrilled to see Seattle finally get an NHL team. It was also Jonathan Drouin’s 400th NHL game.
Another bad start
Like they’ve done too often this season, the Canadiens came out flat and the Kraken only needed 1:02 into the game to score on their very first shot against Jake Allen, Jordan Eberle beating him with a wrist shot. Seconds later, Eberle tripped Josh Anderson, sending the Habs to the power play. Phillipp Grubauer stoned Brendan Gallagher at point blank to keep the score 1-0.
Mike Hoffman tied the game at one at 11:37 with his second goal in as many games, his second of the season. Suzuki and Gallagher drew the assists. On the play, Jaden Schwartz clipped Hoffman with a high stick and received a two minutes penalty, but the Canadiens couldn’t generate anything with the man advantage.
Brandon Tanev, left alone in the crease, gave the lead back to the Kraken at 15:08 as the puck sneaked through Allen. The Canadiens killed a late penalty to Jonathan Drouin to keep the score 2-1 Kraken after 20 minutes. Shots were 12-9 Seattle.
All Kraken in the second
Taking advantage of a turnover at the Seattle blue line, Yanni Gourde received a pass and made Allen look bad with a nice move to give the Kraken a 3-1 lead 6:56 into the second period.
The Kraken took advantage of a Canadiens’ lazy change to add to their lead when Tanev came all alone in front of Allen and scored his second of the game at 8:53, forcing Dominique Ducharme to take a timeout. At that point, the Kraken had four goals on… 17 shots.
Halfway through the second period, Ben Chiarot and Gallagher went on a breakaway two against the goalie and Gallagher… missed the net. After 40 minutes, the Canadiens were trailing the Kraken by three and were getting outshot 18-17.
Packed it in for the 3rd
It was all Kraken until Alexander Romanov turned the puck over at Seattle’s blue line, sending Ryan Donato on a breakaway and he didn’t miss, making the score 5-1 at 5:14 of the third period.
The Kraken were happy to just shut down the Habs the rest of the game and they didn’t face much opposition from a team who seemed to have packed it in for the night. Final shots were 26-24 Kraken, who also won 60% of the faceoffs.
HW Habs 3 Stars
1st Star: Brendan Gallagher – It’s a real stretch trying to find three stars for the Habs for this one but the best on the team had to be Gallagher. Tenacious as always, he had his scoring chances but hasn’t been able to finish.
Stats: 1 point, even rating, 2 shots, 15:35 TOI
2nd Star: Ben Chiarot – Gutsy to put a defenceman in a one-sided affair like this. Let’s just say that Chiarot was the defenceman who didn’t do as bad as the rest of them.
Stats: 0 points, +1 rating, 3 blocked shots, 8 hits, 23:07 TOI
3rd Star: Nick Suzuki – Definitely not his best game but having to pick someone, Suzuki didn’t stand out for the wrong reasons like many of his teammates.
Stats: 1 point, +1 rating, 4 shots, 2 hits, 18:34 TOI
Honourable Mention: Mike Hoffman – He had a great first period, but we didn’t see him the rest of the game. However, in a game like this, one good period gives you an honourable mention.
Stats: 1 point, +1 rating, 1shot, 1 hit, 1 blocked shot, 15:37 TOI