The Seattle Kraken finished up their six-game homestand with a 2-4-0 record. Although the Kraken only collected four out of a possible 12 points, some positives came out of the homestand. Here are three takeaways from the last six games.
Kraken Power Play is Red Hot
During the six games, the Seattle Kraken went six for 15 on the power play. Jared McCann led the way with three while Jordan Eberle, Marcus Johansson, and Brandon Tanev all chipped in with goals. Coming into the homestand, the Kraken were a league-worst 9.3% on the power play with four goals on 43 attempts. They now sit at 21st in the league with a 17.5% efficacy rate after their successful homestand.
The best part about the six goals was that they were spread out. They had at least one power-play goal in five of the six games. This shows the unit is becoming more consistent rather than having one-off games where a team post three or four goals.
The power play has become more consistent by switching up the personnel and making two balanced units. This method doesn’t always work, but the Kraken has found a balance between their unit that has allowed them to succeed. Whether that is moving McCann to the second unit or splitting up Jaden Schwartz and Eberle, the game plan is working and proved important as the power play contributed to wins versus the Capitals and Hurricanes.
Up and Down Six Games for Kraken Goaltending
It was an up and down week for the Kraken goaltenders as they allowed 21 goals over the six games. After allowing four goals on nine shots, Chris Driedger was pulled in his only start, while Philipp Grubauer allowed 17 goals on 165 shots in six games. The good news is, the goaltending looks to have turned a corner as they held the Capitals and Hurricanes to a total of three goals over the past two games.
A topic that has been mentioned numerous times regarding the Kraken goaltending is consistency. It is nice that Grubauer has won two straight games, but he also allowed 14 goals in the previous four games before that. The good news is it seems the Kraken are finally healthy and won’t have too much rotation within the lineup. With games against the Lightning and Panthers on the horizon, the Kraken will need their goaltenders to play more like the last two games rather than the first four to keep pace in the wild card chase.
Jaden Schwartz Stepping Up
Schwartz finally looked like the first-line winger he was brought in to be. He put up eight points and had 22 shots during the six games. Currently, he leads the team with 16 points in 19 games, with 14 of his points coming at even strength.
Not only was Schwartz putting up points and generating offensive chances, but he was also throwing hits and blocking shots. He finished the six games with seven hits and three blocked shots. Coming into the homestand, he only had 18 hits and four blocked shots in 13 games. Players aren’t going to score every game so seeing him step up the rest of his game is a positive sign for the future. The Kraken doesn’t want him to get hurt blocking shots and throwing hits, but it is nice to see the star players engaged throughout the game by doing the little things that help the team.
Tough Road Trip Ahead
The Kraken head out on the road for a tough Eastern swing versus the Lightning, Panthers, Sabres, and Red Wings. The first two games will feature emotional returns for Yanni Gourde and Driedger, while the games versus Buffalo and Detroit do not feature any expansion-selected players. A good road trip for the Kraken would be four out of eight points. If the team can continue their strong play from the past two games, they should walk away from this road trip with at least 50% of the possible points.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.