The bottom six of the Seattle Kraken have been very effective lately, so it’s seemed like a good time for a shift diary. How about Amsterdam, Netherlands native Daniel Sprong, the first star from Tuesday night’s 5-1 Kraken victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
‘Spronger’ finished with a goal and two assists skating with center Morgan Geekie and Brandon Tanev. The competition for ice time at the bottom of the forward line-up has kept the likes of 4th-overall 2022 NHL Draft pick Shane Wright and 26-year-old veteran forward Ryan Donato off the ice the last couple of games. The battle for spots has worked out well so far for Seattle Kraken Head Coach Dave Hakstol.
“There’s competition to be in the line-up and that’s just the nature of the beast,” Hakstol said after practice Wednesday. “Those guys went into last night’s game and did some nice things for our team and they were a big part of the win.”
Let’s see if Spronger has the Canucks seeing double.
Spronger’s Shift Diary
2:10-3:35 This shift was interupted just a few seconds in by a Tanner Pearson / Adam Larsson fight. When play resumed, Sprong started on a forecheck, then backchecked, jumped into a break-out and came close to reaching a rebound in front on his backhand off the rush. He peeled off to the bench on the next Kraken regroup,
7:25-7:59 Over-skated on a forecheck and had to hustle back onside. Re-group, good rush, fired a shot from the top of the right circle that resulted in a rebound chance for Tanev on the opposite side of the ice. Shift ended when the Canucks iced the puck.
9:55-10:29 Had a glorious chance on the tail-end of a Kraken power play. Took a pass on the left doorstep and took a little too much time to get the shot off. He ‘dusted the puck off’ first and it gave Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko a chance to shut it down. Sprong hustled back to the point to keep the puck in and fired another shot on net. He worked hard to create another deep in-zone possession while cruising in on the right wing boards.
12:38-13:02 Took a solid hit on the left wing boards entering the Canucks zone, then spent an extended period on the forecheck. Eventually Vancouver broke out and Sprong backchecked, diving and breaking his stick just inside his own blueline while trying to knock the puck away from Dakota Joshua. Went to bench after Kraken goalie Martin Jones covered the puck.
14:45-15:50 Impressive shift. What started quietly with some two-way neutral zone play, turned into a sustained forecheck with some great efforts to keep the puck in and create scoring chances. Sprong twice chased down pucks and won battles to keep it alive. Seemed gassed by the time the sequence was over, which was understandable.
— Very solid 1st period. In 4:38 of ice time, Spronger did in fact have the Canucks seeing double, as he was all over the ice winning pucks. He ended up with two shots. Kraken 2, Canucks 1.
5:45-6:22 Early penalty kill kept him off the ice with Vancouver tallying late on their power play. Re-group, carried puck to center ice and dumped in. Created traffic, nothing came of a point shot from Jamie Oleksiak or the ensuing in-zone play. Shift ended on a Vancouver icing call.
10:00-10:50 Offensive zone draw in the right wing circle won by the Kraken. Loose puck into the left wing corner and Sprong lost a puck battle to two Canucks. On the backcheck and recovery off a turnover, he led the rush and fired a shot into traffic that deflected high in the air and wide. On the next neutral zone regroup, Sprong was the last linemate to hit the bench.
18:20-19:20 Catches some action the tail-end of the power play once again. Worked the left wing boards. Not much came of it. Part of the possession regroup as the Canucks penalty ended, but hit the bench soon after as the Kraken set up their breakout.
— Less impressive period mainly because of limited opportunities. Special teams played a part as Seattle found itself shorthanded twice. No shots for number-91. Canucks 3, Kraken 3.
3:10-3:44 Mostly neutral zone play with an eventual breakout pass from Sprong to Geekie. Shot out of play with a line change on the whistle.
6:43-7:25 Finished up the power play and kept the forecheck going into even strength. Didn’t generate any shots and was able to change with puck possession and battles going on deep in the offensive zone. Wasn’t one of the men on the boards.
— Kept off the ice in the second half of the period as the club looked for the equalizer. Wasn’t on for the late power play goal. Final Score: Canucks 5, Kraken 4.