Kraken foe, Blackhawks Connor Bedard

Connor Bedard Shift Diary: Kraken Beat Blackhawks 7-1

Kraken Hosting Chicago

The latest “Next One” Connor Bedard made his first ever visit to the Climate Pledge Arena to take on the Kraken. The rookie phenom, the highly touted 1st-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, entered Thursday night’s match-up with 12 goals and 12 assists through 28 games.

This is his shift diary against Seattle.

1st Period

:50-1:50 – Came off the bench and spent the entire minute long shift in a defensive posture while also re-setting in the neutral zone. His unit gave up a Grade-A scoring chance to Kraken Jordan Eberle.

4:55-6:12 – Same story for the first part of the shift. Watched Kraken cycle the puck in their offensive zone. At one point a bouncing puck ended up on his stick in the neutral zone and he made a nice blind pass to linemate Philipp Kurashev for a solo rush and a shot that was blocked. The shift was interrupted midway for a Chicago icing infraction.

9:20-10:12 – On the fly, entered the zone and dished the puck to his right. No threat. Puck over the boards. Alexander Wennberg beat Bedard on the face-off in the Kraken zone. Seattle created some brief pressure. On the next break-out, Bedard cruised up ice but found himself offside along the right wing boards.

12:05-13:20 – Jumped on the ice just in time to see his teammate Nick Foligno get Chicago’s best scoring chance of the period. Joey Daccord made a sprawling pad save on Foligno’s deke move. Bedard lost the ensuing O-zone face-off to Matty Beniers. The Kraken gained the Blackhawks zone and kept up the pressure off of a couple of Chicago turnovers. Bedard’s line got one more rush opportunity with a shot going wide following a nifty backhand pass by Berard in the neutral zone.

15:39-16:48 – Started the shift with a face-off in the offensive zone, right wing circle. He won it against Beniers, but the Blackhawks quickly gave up possession. Same drill on the opposite side of the O-zone after a Kraken icing infraction. Bedard won the draw again and Chicago earned a decent scoring chance. After the rebound came off Daccord, Seattle headed up ice. Bedard spent the rest of the shift in the D-zone.

19:18-20:00 – First time his line had the opportunity to set up in the offensive zone as a unit. His shot on net easily handled and held by Daccord. Kurashev took the O-zone draw for Chicago and won it against Beniers, but the Kraken gained possession shortly thereafter and the period ended with the puck in the neutral zone.

6:37 of ice time, one shot-on-goal

2nd Period

:40-2:25 – Hopped on the ice just before a Kraken scoring chance and a Chicago icing infraction. Looong shift. Stayed out for one D-zone face-off after the icing, won by the Blackhawks, leading to Bedard springing former Kraken Ryan Donato up ice for a scoring chance off the rush on the right wing. He stayed out for three offensive zone draws. Daccord made easy saves and held the puck twice. Bedard posture is definitely offensive minded as he leans/cheats towards the offensive zone.

5:20-6:18 – Started in the D-zone. Hustled ahead to try and chase down a dump in off the left wing corner boards. He got there first, but his centering pass deflected up-ice off Oliver Bjorkstrand and ended up with a Kraken scoring chance. One more rush for Bedard didn’t result in a scoring chance. He circled back to his own end. Seattle almost scored twice.

9:30-11:20 – Ridiculously long shift. His line had a chance to come off after 40-seconds, but instead stayed on and got trapped in their own end for an extended period and multiple Kraken scoring chances. Apparently the rebuild doctrine is to let Bedard play as long and as much as he wants. The one offensive rush on the shift resulted in a dump-in, followed by Seattle goalie Daccord coming out of his net and clearing the puck out of the zone. It was all Kraken after that.

14:30-14:43-15:10 – Mostly D-zone shift interrupted by Tye Kartye’s tip-in goal that gave the Kraken a 4-1 lead at 14:43. Bedard stayed out for the ensuing center ice draw and then another following the final TV time-out of the period in the Seattle zone. His shortest shift of the night took a long time to play out because of the stoppages.

18:30-19:23 – Simply put: all defensive zone. Lot’s of waiting and hoping, with skates pointed up ice.

Approximately 7:24 in ice time in period 2. No shots.

3rd Period

:42-1:20 – Some offensive zone pressure off a face-off win, but no Grade-A chances on Daccord. Headed off as team took up a defensive posture.

3:28-4:40 – Came out to take neutral zone draw after Kraken had taken a 7-1 lead and spent the next 70-seconds in his defensive zone trying to prevent an 8th Seattle goal.

10:10-11:15-12:33 – Up and down game of shinny before Wennberg turned a puck over in his own zone, basically handing it Bedard, who had his first scoring chance of the game. He skated in alone and fired a shot high glove that Daccord got a piece of. A minute into the shift Bedard drew a questionable penalty on Yanni Gourde who went to the penalty box in disbelief. Bedard stayed on the ice through a TV time-out for the power play, headed to the net hard at one point and had the puck skip away from him and off of Daccord.

18:45- 19:40 – Circling in defensive zone. Made one rush with a hard dump pass to the right wing corner. Circled out and hit the bench.

Bedard’s night: No points, 3 shots-on-goal, minus-1, won 37.5% of his face-offs. 20:31 of ice time.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.