You better believe Seattle Kraken players, coaches, management and fans had their best night’s sleep since the start of the season. Seven goals from seven different skaters was just what the doctor ordered Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena in a 7-4 romp over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The much-maligned Seattle offense, which had produced a meager three tallies in four prior games, deserved kudos against a Carolina team many have picked to be a Stanley Cup Finalist. Jaden Schwartz and Vince Dunn scored on the power play, doubling the extra man output from the 0-3-1 start. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare added a vital shorthanded score, while Vince Dunn and Oliver Bjorkstrand both contributed one goal and two assists.
But all the applause doesn’t belong to the goal-scorers.
“There were real good individual performances,” coach Dave Hakstol told his team after the game. “But everybody knows that in here, it’s all about the group. That’s a great first two points. Took a little longer than we wanted, but that one is one that we earned; every single guy here.” Jordan Eberle awarded the Davy Jones hat to winger Tye Kartye.
Kartye was a sparkplug at both ends of the ice. He surprised and stripped Seth Jarvis of the puck in the defensive zone, when it appeared Carolina was poised for a scoring chance. In the offensive zone, he stapled Brady Skjei to the end boards with a hit which lifted Skeji off the ice. At 12:13 of the 3rd period, he drove to the net, redirecting Matty Beniers‘s pass for his first (regular-season) NHL goal.
Coachella Turned Kraken
Maybe most impressive, last year’s AHL rookie of the year fought Carolina’s Brendan Lemieux on behalf of teammate Jared McCann. Earlier in the final period, McCann had dropped to a knee, stung after blocking a shot. While down, Lemieux had – perhaps accidentally – run McCann over in the process of chasing the puck.
Like Kartye, another former Coachella Valley Firebird stood out. Goalie Joey Daccord made his second start since winning the backup job from Chris Driedger in training camp. Without his stellar netminding, especially under a 1st period assault, even three Kraken goals might not have been enough to produce a lead.
The Hurricanes apply relentless pressure, especially by activating their defensemen. Daccord allowed just one puck to get past him in the opening stanza, while making an astounding 20 saves. His two finest came against Martin Necas in the dying seconds of the period.
With Daccord wide of the far right post, Necas backhanded an in-close slot labeled for what appeared to be the vacated cage. Even before the shot, Daccord pushed across his crease. With a stretch worthy of Gumby, his toe pad rejected the shot. But that wasn’t all. Necas retrieved the rebound, and before the horn, fired again – and Daccord stopped that, too.
The Kraken will now attempt to build a new streak, a winning one, starting Saturday night when they host the N.Y. Rangers in the finale of a three game homestand. As Tye Kartye said from under the Davy Jones hat to teammates’ cheers, “That’s more like it, boys. Let’s keep it going.”
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