The last edition of the Kraken Stats Round-Up was written after a disappointing start to the season, and things have not gotten much better for the NHL’s newest team. The Kraken currently sit third-to-last in the league and could drop even lower in the coming weeks, with the Montreal Canadiens surging after a coaching change. Prior to Sunday night’s tilt against the San Jose Sharks, Seattle is riding a six-game losing streak, five of which came in regulation. Though for the most part, the Kraken’s stats aren’t very favorable, let’s take a look at the team’s underlying numbers.
Kraken Team Stats
The Kraken’s defensive stats are a similar story to earlier in the season. While they have allowed goals at a very poor rate, sitting fourth-to-last in the league in goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60), their expected goals against rate is actually very solid, good for eighth in the NHL. Once again, this suggests that while Seattle’s skaters have played very well defensively, the team’s goalies have struggled, which I’ll discuss later. That is an unfortunate trend that has been consistent throughout the year, but it remains encouraging that the team defends against high-quality scoring chances well.
The Kraken’s poor goals-against numbers could have been offset by a strong offense, but the team has unfortunately been even worse on the other side of the rink. Seattle’s goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) is sixth-to-last in the NHL, and their xGF/60 rate is even worse, at second-to-last. The Kraken have actually outperformed their expected goals, but they produce so few scoring chances that it hasn’t mattered. Adding offensive firepower this offseason will be a major priority.
Kraken Skater Stats
The same offensive players have continued to shine for Seattle. Top-line center Jared McCann, though injured at the moment, has led the way offensively with 33 points in 48 games. His 21 goals mark a career-high, and he is almost certain to set a new best in points as well. He has been one of few bright spots among Kraken forwards. His common linemate, Jordan Eberle, has also been strong offensively. Though his torrid goal-scoring rate has slowed down substantially, he still has 15 goals so far and is likely to hit 20 goals for the seventh time in his career. Forward Yanni Gourde has also had a solid season since returning from an injury that kept him out of the lineup to start the year, scoring 29 points in 46 games.
Jamie Oleksiak has been a top player on the Seattle blue line this year. Although he has only scored 12 points, he is a defensively-minded player and will likely hit a new career-high in points in the coming weeks. He has been an effective all-around force, leading the Kraken with 1.2 wins above replacement (WAR). Similar to baseball, WAR attempts to quantify a player’s overall value to his team. McCann has also been notable there, sitting third on the team in WAR with 0.8. Ryan Donato has continued to quietly be effective, as he is second in WAR.
On the other end of the spectrum, forward Morgan Geekie and defenseman Jeremy Lauzon have struggled this season. Both are young and have shown flashes of being future impact players, but they’ve not quite reached those heights yet. They have each struggled to produce points and have two of the three worst WAR marks on the roster.
Kraken Goalie Stats
Once again, it is evident that the biggest cause of the Kraken’s struggles this season is goaltending. Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger have continued to sink their team, as their stats are among the worst in the league. Among goalies with at least 15 games played, only Joonas Korpisalo of the Columbus Blue Jackets has a worse save percentage than Grubauer and Driedger, who sit second and third to last, respectively.
Grubauer and Driedger both have very poor goals saved above expected (GSAx) numbers too. In fact, Grubauer’s -27.28 GSAx is not only the worst mark in the league this season, but it’s also within the top fifteen worst recorded seasons ever recorded (since 2007-08).
Though the Kraken’s underlying numbers aren’t particularly encouraging, it is easy to determine what is ailing the team most. With a goaltending bounceback and improved offense next season, Seattle could contend for a playoff spot.
Jake is a reliable source for the Seattle Kraken here at The Hockey Writers. Hailing from New York City, he is an avid fan of all things hockey and is always involved with the sport, whether that means writing, watching, or playing. An enthusiastic advocate for sports analytics, Jake will often weave them into his posts to support his ideas. More of his work can be found on his Substack page, and he is a contributor with @hky_tapetalk on Instagram. For any questions or inquiries, Jake can be contacted on his Twitter, @jakezrihen.