Kraken At Canucks
In what may have been the last chance for borderline AHL/NHL’ers to make an impression, the Kraken mostly depth roster beat the Canucks mostly depth line-up 2-1. Seattle’s preseason leading scorer Eeli Tolvanen tallied the game winner.
Not as comfortable as usual, at least in the 1st period, was Kraken blueline prospect Ryker Evans. He seemed to struggle with decision making, forced a couple of errant passes and lost puck battles. It was bizarre to watch as it was so out of the ordinary. Obviously a big game for him as the preseason winds down.
We had what’s become a rare event in the NHL preseason; a fight.
At the 3:09 mark of the 1st period Kraken forward John Hayden dropped the mitts with big Canucks defenceman Tylers Myers. Hayden landed a fist late on Myers who appeared to have absolutely no interest in throwing a punch. There’s a chance he didn’t want to injure his hand with a punch to the visor of Hayden, or maybe it was something else.
Otherwise, the period was an AHL special for the most part, the Kraken group dominating the forecheck early on. Shots were rare, ending up 4-2 for Vancouver after 20 minutes.
That’s right, 4-2 shots on goal, which means the Kraken had a 50% shooting percentage. AHL’er Andrew Poturalski took full advantage of a blatant turnover by Canucks defenseman Filip Hronek and tucked the puck in behind goalie Casey DeSmith for the lone goal of the period at 16:00.
Meanwhile, it was former Kraken defenceman Carson Soucy who tied the game at 9:42. His seeing-eye wrister from near the left wing boards found its way top shelf past Joey Daccord. Funny how those “revenge” goals often seem to happen in first games against former teams.
There was a Hughes on the ice, but he wore 53, not 43, and he played for the Kraken, not the Canucks. It was Cameron, not Quinn, and he was actually pretty feisty. He seemed to be one of the more interested parties, creating opportunities off the forecheck. The 26-year-old from Edmonton had 23 points in 26 playoff games for the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the spring.
Generally, the 2nd period was more of the same from the first. Players seemed a bit uncomfortable with whomever they were playing with, whether up front or on D, and happy to see time click off the clock.
Vancouver outshot the Kraken 12-6 through two periods. That’s not a typo.
Chris Driedger took over for Daccord in net for the Kraken to start the 3rd period. His team would fail on its second power play of the night early in the stanza and then kill off an abbreviated Canucks man advantage that overlapped. It was Vancouver’s first and only power play of the night.
Seattle would get another opportunity a few moments later but fall short.
The Kraken’s top line for the evening was Shane Wright, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Tolvanen and they played like it. They had a strong evening and would tally the go ahead goal at 12:29. Their pressure led to a shot from defenseman Cale Fleury, kicked aside by DeSmith, but Tolvanen was there to rip home the rebound for his third goal of the preseason. All three of those goals came against the Canucks.
Driedger made seven saves in the period.
— Vince Dunn On Ice For Seattle Kraken Optional Skate