The Seattle Kraken had a month to remember as they went 10-1-1 during the month of November. During their 12 games, the offence came alive, scoring at least three goals in all 10 of their victories. Here is a look at five trends from Nov. 2022.
Kraken Offence Come Alive
Seattle’s offence could not be stopped during the month of November, as they scored 51 goals in their 12 games. As mentioned, they scored three or more in 10 games and put up five or more in five games. The offence is clicking and has made the Kraken one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL.
What has been impressive about the Kraken’s scoring is that they have been able to do it against bottom feeders and the top dogs in the NHL. Yes, they put eight past the San Jose Sharks and nine against the Los Angeles Kings, but they also scored five against the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators and four against the Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights. All four of those teams are in the top half of the league when it comes to goals allowed and goals allowed per game. It doesn’t seem to matter who the opponent is; Seattle’s offence is ready.
Jordan Eberle’s Bounce-Back Season
A big question coming into the season was how Jordan Eberle will play. He had a down year in 2021-22 with only 44 points in 79 games but has seen a bounce back early in the 2022-23 season. Through his first 22 games, he has 21 points and leads the team with 15 assists. He is almost halfway to his point total from last year and has 60 games to try and beat it.
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It isn’t just his offensive play that has been impressive, but also his defensive play. So far, he has 17 takeaways compared to seven giveaways, along with 11 blocks. He has also limited the opposition to 19 goals while he is on the ice compared to the 32 scored by the Kraken. Eberle was brought in to be a leader and is living up to the hype early in his second season with Seattle.
Kraken Penalty Kill Struggling
While there have been many positives through the first 22 games, a major problem has been Seattle’s inability to kill penalties. They will end the month of November near the bottom of the league with a 68.6 percent kill rate and have given up 22 goals while shorthanded this season. For reference, they have only given up 68 total, which means 32 percent of their goals allowed have come when short a player.
Luckily, Seattle has been able to cover up this issue with high-end scoring, but they need to find a way to kill penalties at a more consistent rate if they have eyes on a playoff run. The penalty kill has already cost them wins, as, during a game vs. Winnipeg in mid-November, they fell in overtime after giving up a power-play goal late in the game. This is one trend the Kraken need to fix quickly as their season gets more challenging.
Justin Schultz Leads by Example
When Justin Schultz was brought in during the offseason, the thought was he could help bring offence and experience to the Kraken’s defence core. That is exactly what he has done as he leads the team in defensive scoring with 16 points and assists by a defenceman with 13. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has also been strong on the power play, as he sits second on the team with seven points.
While Schultz hasn’t been the strongest in his own end, he is helping by taking some of the offensive responsibilities away from Vince Dunn. This has allowed the young defenceman to work on his overall game and become a better defender in general. He has done everything the Kraken have asked and helped make them one of the best offensive teams in the NHL.
Prospect Spotlight: Tucker Robertson
Tucker Robertson has had a decent start to his season, with 26 points through his first 24 games. Playing for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, he finds himself centering the Petes’ second line with Connor Lockhart and Nick Lardis. He has a shot on goal in all but two games so far this season and has been credited with five or more in eight contests this year.
Robertson is a versatile forward that can play wing or center. So far, he has shown well in the faceoff dot, recording a 55.7 percent win percentage on 501 attempts and has played a strong two-way game through his first 24 games. The 2022 fourth-rounder is not signed yet by the Kraken but has shown he is deserved one based on his play this year.
November A Month To Remember For Seattle
November was a month to remember for the Kraken as it was the most successful in their short franchise history. December will be tough as they once again have 12 games and have to play teams like Tampa Bay and Carolina, along with division rivals Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. To stay in the playoff race, they need to pick up a minimum of 12 points, but if they pull off a month like November, it could catapult them into Presidents’ Trophy considerations.
Make sure to stay tuned to The Hockey Writers as we continue to bring you coverage of the Seattle Kraken all throughout the 2022-23 season.
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.