The Surging Seattle Kraken

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The Surging Seattle Kraken

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The Surging Seattle Kraken

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The more recent NHL fan is not unaccustomed to seeing a new franchise entering the league. The Las Vegas Golden Knights took the world by storm with their electric entry into the NHL. Drafting a super competitive team right out of the gate, breaking expansion franchise records, and winning so much that they made it to the Stanley Cup Final. And although they didn’t win the Stanley Cup in their first season, they still have been able to be one of the most competitive teams in the NHL. But this isn’t about Vegas, this is about Seattle.

With how Vegas did in their inaugural season, a lot of expectations are placed on Seattle. With all the talent available in the expansion draft many believed, they too, could replicate similar success to Vegas did. Instead, they went with a more traditional approach, trying to build from the ground up and play the long game. The NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, had a more traditional first season upon entering the league last year. A team with decent expectations that just couldn’t put it together in their first season. The Kraken had drafted a lot of complimentary pieces in the expansion draft just waiting for their time to complete that roster with some true talent. The Seattle Kraken ended up in 30th-place finish in their inaugural year, which to many was absolutely in comparison their expansion cousin Golden Knights improbably achieved in their first season out of the gates. 

Nobody expected them to duplicate what Vegas had done, yet there was the hope the Kraken would be more competitive.

In the off-season, they managed to acquire the 4th overall pick in the entry draft and selected Shane Wright. They also managed to snag two solid scoring wingers in Oliver Bjorkstrand and Andre Burakovsky. And he believed that after the season they had last year that they wouldn’t be competitive enough to feel the playoff squad, but this year that’s changed. With their off-season additions, rookie Marty Beniers playing like a seasoned veteran, and an explosion of offense as a team, the Seattle Kraken have blown their expectations out of the water. 

The surging Seattle Kraken have built themselves around their superior offense. Andre Burakovsky’s scoring, a revival of Jordan Eberle’s offensive prowess, and Matty Beniers showcasing his talents on a league wide scale have been the players who have been a major part of that success offensively. They rank near the top of the league in goals scored, with three lines that can be dangerous and a power play that makes teams pay. And that offense has paid off.  

The other key factor to their success has been a small improvement in goaltending. It’s no secret. Seattle last year struggled, massively, and the goaltending department. Philipp Grubauer did not look like the former Stanley Cup champion, starting goaltender like he did in Washington. High expectations were placed on his play, and he did not live up to that this season. That remains the same but someone else has stepped in his stead.The veteran Martin Jones, former starter of the San Jose Sharks, has shocked many with his stellar play of late.

Unlike Grubauer’s 3.40 Goals Against Average and .868 Save Percentage, Jones has stunned many and posted a decent 2.97 GAA  and a .888 SV%. Although these numbers don’t seem spectacular, there was a stretch where he looked like one of the best goaltenders in the league this season. From October 25th to November 19th, Jones went 7-2-1 with a .930 SV% and looked red hot. He has cooled off since then, but still plays well enough to snag the Kraken some wins. If he and the rest of the goaltending rotation play just around league average, they could continue this success. 

The Kraken sit just behind the Golden Knights for second place in the Pacific Division. With their 33 standings points, they own a record of 15-7-3 for a 7th best record in the NHL. Although they haven’t been as consistent on home ice, on the road they have been excellent going 8-1-1 when on other team’s home ice. The Kraken have managed to win games and play a more exciting brand of hockey. 

There is a lot of promise in Seattle, especially with the two young centers to build around. Matty Beniers and chain right are looking solid, and our two huge pieces for the future of the Seattle Kraken. What remains to be seen as if the Seattle Kraken team can continue this success they’ve built upon early this season. The roster isn’t the deepest or more star studded team in the league by any means. The goaltending still remains to be a huge question mark. The performance of head coach Dave Hakstol still is under question as his previous record and success precede him. The Kraken may have a lot of question marks going forward, but they have a decent foundation to build upon for the future. They have a lot of assets and a lot of time on their hands. And for the Seattle faithful, there’s a lot of hope surrounding their team at the moment. But for now it’s best for us and the Seattle fans to just enjoy the show they are putting on because the Kraken are for sure one of the most exciting teams in the NHL now.

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