Although “Sleepless in Seattle” may be the title of a movie from the 90’s, it might as well be the theme for the Capitals’ loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night. The one thing that’s become consistent with the Caps this season is that they seem to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. With a season record of 10-11-4, the Capitals are starting to fade in the Metro Division and need to find a way to turn up the heat-really soon or this season could be over by Christmas.
What happened in Seattle?
This game actually started to look like a second win in a row for the Capitals as they took an early 2-0 lead over the Kraken. With goals from Martin Fehervary and Conor Sheary, the Caps looked to take control of this game by the end of the first period. Then, it happened – the Caps forgot to keep scoring in the next two periods. Much like a recurring theme (or nightmare), the Capitals only put 23 shots on goal against former Caps goalie Phillipp Grubauer all night.
The biggest excitement in the first period, however, was a fight between T.J. Oshie and Kraken center Yanni Gourde. Oshie is definitely not known in the NHL as a brawler as this fight was only the tenth in his entire career but being in front of friends and family in his hometown, Oshie and Gourde fought it out in a long exchange of blows before being broken up in front of the Kraken bench. Oshie and Gourde have a bit of history as they fought each other when the Caps played the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs a few years ago.
The rest of this game seemed to be anti-climactic for Caps’ fans as their shooting fell silent in the second and third frames of this game. The Kraken, coming off of a wild 9-8 overtime win agains the Los Angeles Kings,r refused to fold and put in two goals of their own including an equalizer from Yanni Gourde.
Disaster truly befell the Capitals as Kraken rookie sensastion Matty Beniers launched a breakaway assault exactly seven seconds into overtime and caught goalie Darcy Kuemper in his sights. Game over, goodnight Seattle. Yes, the Caps pick up another point on this road trip but two points are always better than one point.
I hate to belabor this point but the Capitals need to get one thing clear in their collective heads before this season falls apart – finish. The season is far from over but Christmastime is a benchmark for teams hoping to make the Stanley Cup playoffs and right now a 10-11-4 record won’t cut it for next spring’s playoff push.