When the Kraken scored their first goal after a 7-0 draw against Colorado on Friday night, Climate Pledge Arena fans might have thought they were about to make a comeback.
The crowd stayed, and stayed in that moment, even though the Kraken lost 7-3. This setback extended their losing streak to six games.
It sounds cheesy, but as the Kraken broke the skid with a 5-2 win over the Capitals on Sunday night, the support of the crowd really mattered to them.
“We lost six in a row at home (and we were),” said Kraken goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer. “We scored the first goal, it’s 7-0 (on Friday), the fans cheer us on. And it’s unbelievable. I’ve been to places where they throw cans of beer at you.”
That’s a different thing about this first Kraken season. Some might attribute the fan support to the innovation surrounding the team and a city that is happy to have an NHL team.
A less cynical view is that the fan base, rejoicing at the Kraken being here, is an episodic part of Seattle’s first NHL season.
It’s telling that so much of the postgame talk after Sunday’s win was about the spectators showing off what was visible to them.
“It’s been tough. It’s not a lot of fun,” said coach Dave Huxtall. “I believe what our players are coming out of (Friday), that hockey game, that stings. That stings. , and it stays with you. The atmosphere of our building lives with you too. It’s probably a small part of that mindset of how much support we got on a crappy night two nights ago and then being able to come out tonight What we can do for and to reward the people out there and most importantly, are proud of our standard tonight, and that’s what happened.”
Grubauer is also right; Some hockey cities will not tolerate losing six games in a row. But the Climate Pledge has hardly any booze or joke in four games to lose on home ice. And of course, in the midst of Sunday’s game, the crowd was feeling more engaged and ready to burst into anticipation of seeing victory.
“You’re not only playing for the fans in town and the people in front of you, but you’re playing for the guy next to you,” Grubauer said. “Everyone has to hold themselves accountable.”
Throughout the series of defeats, although at times it felt dreary and the players actually seemed lost for answers, there was a sense of accountability. The players spoke honestly after each game. He took it upon himself to find the answer.
Some of them put on a lot of pressure, but it was because of their desire to end the streak. This made Sunday’s victory even more rewarding.
“Just to support that, we want to come out and give fans what they want,” Grubauer said. “And we need those points, we can’t lose another game (in a row). So we have to achieve and I think it was the right time.”
Perhaps forward Calle Jarnrock said it best: “Probably because we’re sick and tired of losing.”
Huxtol has repeatedly called for an honest assessment of the damage. Grubauer also talked after the game about how hard everyone is working.
It’s a win-win, and the program isn’t getting easier. Another damage occurred on Sunday and the streak could have gone into dangerous territory.
But he pulled out of it, and he did it on home ice. Even after having an easy opportunity to check in as an expansion team that’s happy to be here, the column under “Streak” in the NHL standings says “W1.”
This is a pretty good place to start again.