Keep in mind, it wasn’t against the best team in the league, and it definitely wasn’t against that club’s best line-up to say the least, but the Vancouver Canucks veterans looked polished and confident early on against the visiting Seattle Kraken.
Then they seemed to gradually lose interest, for lack of a better term.
In the end, the Kraken came all the way back to win the preseason tilt in overtime 4-3 on a Ryan Donato goal with 40-seconds remaining.
Canucks Russian import Andrei Kuzmenko generated excitement with two goals and an assist in the first period, one at even strength at 2:51 and another easy tap in on the power play at 9:56. He kind of gave one back by taking a needless tripping call 190 feet from his own net that led to a Kraken power play tally in the first, but then again, Canucks defenceman Danny Dekeyser whiffed on a clearing attempt just before Seattle’s Tyler Kartye scored at 12:44.
Tanner Pearson scored late on a man advantage; 3-1 after one period and it initially looked like that was all the Canucks needed. Elias Pettersson had two assists.
I tweeted this early in the game @simmerpuck because I was happy to see it: some bad blood between these Pacific Division neighbours. Vancouver’s Conor Garland and Seattle’s Michal Kempny got into it just :13-seconds into the game, Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Canucks and Cameron Hughes got nasty a little later and VAN’s Kyle Burroughs and SEA’s John Hayden fought at 16:17 of the first period.
Hayden fought again at 5:36 of the 2nd period, this time against the Canucks Dakota Joshua.
More please. The teams meet one another four times this regular season and the Kraken should actually be somewhat improved.
Seattle made a push in the third period, picking up a goal at 4:02 at even strength from Kole Lind, the former 2nd-round pick of the Canucks, 33rd-overall, in 2017. He was claimed by the Kraken from Vancouver in the expansion draft in July of 2021.
They’d add another after a brutal cross-ice pass by Garland that led to a neutral zone turnover and a goal by Seattle pugilist Hayden at 12:33. He was alone at the top of the hashmarks and stroked one past Vancouver goalie Arturs Silovs.
Thatcher Demko started for Vancouver and turned aside 17 of 18 shots-on-goal over two periods. Silovs took over for the third period and gave up two goals on the first five shots he faced. Definitely not all on him. He ended up facing 11 shots.
Joey Daccord and Martin Jones split the game for the Kraken and faced a total of 39 Vancouver shots.
It’s preseason, it doesn’t mean anything ultimately, but Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t be too happy with the Kraken’s comeback.
“That’s pretty disappointing, that’s what we talked about between periods,” Boudreau said postgame. “Winning teams protect the lead. In the past for the most part we’ve been OK, but tonight it obviously didn’t get done.”
One bonus; these two teams turned up the rivalry-hate metre.