A jam-packed Climate Pledge Arena was rocking and rolling Wednesday with an almost playoff-like atmosphere as the Kraken hosted the Calgary Flames.

The home team had a chance to create a memorable night for the 17,151 in attendance, many of which were there taking advantage of the holiday week. But Seattle came up short and couldn’t create enough offense in the third period, despite several situational advantages. 

Here are our Three Takeaways from a disappointing 3-2 Kraken loss to the Flames. 

Takeaway #1: “Undisciplined” penalty was the turning point

After Jamie Oleksiak scored 1:14 into the second period, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead, the Kraken had all the momentum and got chance after chance against Flames backup netminder Dan Vladar. The Oleksiak goal was all Seattle could muster, though, despite the tides so heavily shifted in its favor. 

Those tides reverted the other way midway through the frame when Carson Soucy took a high-sticking penalty that coach Dave Hakstol called “undisciplined.” 

On the ensuing power play, Elias Lindholm fired a shot under Oleksiak that Nazem Kadri tipped through Philipp Grubauer’s wickets.

The goal made it 2-2, and from that point on, the Kraken had trouble sustaining offensive-zone time, while Calgary continued to pepper Grubauer with shots. 

“We took a bad penalty that ended up in a tie game when we had a lot of momentum rolling,” said Hakstol. “Once we got back to 2-2 after the penalty kill goal, we never— we didn’t really re-establish that momentum.”

Costly penalty aside, we thought Soucy had a generally tough game Wednesday, although he wasn’t alone in that regard. Hakstol said Seattle had “three or four key guys” he felt were “below the bar.” 

So, we’ll see if that leads to any lineup changes against Edmonton on Friday. 

Takeaway #2: A wasted opportunity 

This was a wasted opportunity to get two huge points against a Flames team that could be battling the Kraken down the stretch. 

Calgary was on the second of back-to-back games with travel and had its backup goaltender in net. Plus, Grubauer played an outstanding game, stopping 41 of 44 shots, the most he’s ever stopped as a Kraken. 

“[He was] arguably the sharpest guy tonight, and I think he kept us in the whole way,” Oleksiak said. “Would have been nice to get him the win, but I think he was huge for us, for sure.” 

Generally speaking, a team on tired legs tends to fade in the latter stages of its second game in two nights. As Wednesday’s contest wore on, we expected the Kraken to get the mojo back that we saw early in the second frame, especially as fatigue set in for the Flames.

But that never happened, and Calgary just kept firing shots at Grubauer, and Jonathan Huberdeau eventually got the game winner.

In fact, Calgary ended up with a lopsided 15-6 shot advantage in the final period. When you’re trying to come away with a win late in a tight game, you have to find more ways to generate offensive opportunities, and Seattle just didn’t do that.

Hakstol didn’t like what he saw in the later part of the game. “For me, the biggest thing is the second half of the game we didn’t get it deep, we didn’t spend time in the offensive zone, and we had—like I said—three or four guys that were a little below the bar tonight.” 

Takeaway #3: You don’t see that every day

There were several strange moments in Wednesday’s game. A dumped-in puck hit and broke a camera poking through the photographer’s hole in the glass during the second period, littering the ice with pieces of expensive equipment. Brandon Tanev got two breakaways on a single shift, only to get stopped on the first one by Vladar and hit the crossbar on the second. 

There was also a moment in which the Flames iced the puck and tried to make a line change in the process, which is, of course, not allowed. The officials actually took a notebook from the penalty box and skated to the Flames bench to determine which players should have been on the ice, eventually forcing Calgary to put those individuals back out. 

But the weirdest moment was surely a too-many-men call against the Kraken in the second period. Seattle had just completed a line change in which several players crossed paths, and the puck slid harmlessly through the bench area without anybody touching it. It appeared to be a fully legal change. 

Still, the Flames bench started yelling for too many men, and the official’s radar went up. When the puck went back through that area, Matty Beniers touched it in front of Seattle’s bench, and the Kraken were immediately whistled for a bench minor. 

The thing about it, though, is Beniers was the fifth player on the ice when he touched it. It should not have been called too many men. Hakstol was livid at the call and rightfully so. 

“I don’t know what the hell that was,” Hakstol said. “I mean, we had five guys on the ice. It wasn’t too many men.” 

Too-many-men calls get missed all the time. How often do you see hockey broadcasts do the thing where they freeze the frame and use the Telestrator to write “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6” over all the players on the ice? Probably pretty often.

But when was the last time you saw too many men get called when there—in fact—were not too many men on the ice? That was bizarre. 

It ended up mostly moot, since Seattle killed that one off, but who knows how much that helped with keeping the momentum in Calgary’s favor. Plus, it’s the principle; that was a bad call.