Kraken Need to Totally Rethink Their Power Play

The Seattle Kraken power play is struggling so far this season. They can’t generate chances and last scored Oct. 19 versus the New Jersey Devils. They need to find a way to break the 0 for 24 streak they are currently on as their lack of power-play efficiency is starting to cost them wins.

Need Jared McCann Back in the Lineup

One big reason the power play has continued to struggle is the loss of Jared McCann. He is currently on the COVID protocol list, so his return date is unknown, but the team has struggled without him. Despite only playing eight games, he is tied for the team lead in power-play points with two and is tied for third on the team in shots with six.

What makes McCann dangerous on the power play is his shot. Without him on the power play, this team seems hesitant to get the puck on the net. This has been evident since he was placed on Covid protocol four games ago. Seattle has only created five high danger scoring chances over those four games. The Kraken need him back in the lineup ASAP as they have shown they can not be successful without him.

Current Kraken Power Play Units

Based on their last game, this is how the Kraken lined up on the power play versus the Arizona Coyotes.

First Unit:

Jaden Schwarz – Yanni Gourde- Calle Järnkrok

Vince Dunn- Jordan Eberle

Second Unit

Brandon Tanev

Joonas Donskoi- Alex Wennberg- Morgan Geekie

Mark Giordano

The Kraken finished the game with 4:05 of ice time and went 0-for-2 on the power play. The team managed five shots on goal during those four minutes but only generated one high danger scoring chance. Neither unit could produce any offense or even set up in the offensive zone despite Arizona being one of the worst penalty kill teams in the league.

Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken
Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As for unit versus unit comparison, the second team produced better despite around a minute less of ice time. They outshot the first unit three to two. The second team was also the only unit to produce a high danger chance and accounted for the only scoring chance of the entire game. Something has to change quickly. This team is too talented to have an outing like this against a team like the Coyotes. They need a shakeup in not just player personnel but the scheme as well.

Kraken’s Big Guns Aren’t Stepping Up

A big issue is the lack of production from Seattle’s top scores. Players like Jordan Eberle, Jaden Schwartz, and Alex Wennberg need to generate power play. The trio has combined for ten shots and two points so far this season. These players were brought in specifically to generate offense. However, so far, they have let the team down when it comes to putting the puck in the net on the power play.

Suggestion for New Kraken Power Play Units

Below is a suggestion on how the Kraken should run their power play based on the roster versus Arizona.

First Unit:

Brandon Tanev

Yanni Gourde- Morgan Geekie- Jordan Eberle

Vince Dunn

Second Unit:

Joonas Donskoi

Jaden Schwartz- Alex Wennberg- Calle Järnkrok

Mark Giordano

These two units utilize a solid net-front presence while allowing players to collect passes in shooting positions along the wings. Both units also have a shooter between the faceoff dots that can be set up for one-timers from the slot. These proposed units should allow the Kraken to set up, screen the goaltender properly and have a chance to fit for rebounds. The more puck movement, the better. These units are built so the team can throw the puck around and find open shooting lanes.

Related: Seattle Kraken’s Brandon Tanev Evolving into Team’s Top Scorer

The Kraken Need to Move the Puck Around More

The main issue for Seattle is not enough player movement. The power-play personnel is very stagnant, which makes it challenging to move defenders from side to side. Their predictability makes it easy for the opposition to steal the puck and clear it down the ice. The fix is straightforward, and that is players moving to different spots throughout the power play.

Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken
Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

When players rotate positions, it confuses the defense as they lose tabs on where players are. For example, if the left flank moves behind the net, it creates a secondary passing option for the net-front presence if they leave the front of the net to retrieve a puck below the goal-line on the right side. This gets the defenders moving and may create an opportunity for the player in the slot to create space and have a chance at a one-timer. These are all simple movements that could help enhance the power play. It works for other teams around the league, so why can’t it work for the Kraken.

A Problem the Kraken Need to Fix Now

Yes, McCann is out with injury, but as mentioned, this team is way too talented to go seven games without a power-play goal. Luckily, the team finds offense at five on five, but that can only take a team so far. Some significant changes need to occur now before the Kraken fall too far back in the standings.

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