OK, that’s a bit harsh, but they do have the third fewest points in the National Hockey League. The Seattle Kraken’s performance this season is much more reminiscent of what the Vancouver Canucks went through when they entered the NHL back in 1970, as opposed to the rare success found in season-one by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-’18.
That was an anomaly.
Most expansion teams struggle for awhile and the Kraken fit the bill. Eventually if and when the franchise takes a big step and turns a corner, to use two hopeful metaphors, they’ll provide a nice rivalry for the Vancouver Canucks.
That hasn’t happened yet, but in the short term, today is a new day. The Kraken will look to avoid being swept Tuesday night in the four-game season series against Vancouver.
The Canucks won the Kraken’s franchise home-opener back on October 23rd by a score of 4-2, winning again in the Emerald City on New Year’s Day 5-2, and then handing the visitors from just south of the border a loss at Rogers Arena 5-2 on February 21st.
Former Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick Jared McCann, 24th overall in 2014, leads the Kraken in scoring with 47 points, one ahead of former Tampa Bay Lightning two-time Stanley Cup winner Yanni Gourde. Vince Dunn leads the way among defenceman with 35 points.
The club is 29th in the league in both the power play and the penalty kill, again, more of what one expects from an expansion team.
Tuesday morning we had the privilege of getting a breakdown of the Seattle season from national network TV play-by-play man (TNT, previously NBC) and TV voice of the Kraken, John Forslund.
JF thinks that Gourde would make an excellent Kraken captain moving forward to replace Mark Giordano who was swapped to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the NHL Trade Deadline this year. He breaks down the performance of franchise number-one netminder Philipp Grubauer and looks ahead to what could one day be a delightful rivalry between Seattle and the Vancouver Canucks.