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Seattle Kraken Show They Are SEA Worthy By Overpowering Vancouver In Preseason Finale

With a goal of taking the city by storm, the Seattle Kraken are off to rip-roaring start.

Named after a gigantic mythical sea monster, the NHL’s newest team is slowly but surely becoming its own kind of SEA colossus in the Pacific Northwest.

After a scoreless first period Tuesday, the Kraken played a nearly perfect second stanza, scoring three times and killing off three penalties, en route to a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the preseason finale.

Winning goalie Philipp Grubauer and Calle Jarnkrok congratulate each other after Tuesday’s game.

In one week, Tuesday, Oct. 12, Seattle plays its historic first NHL game at the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken compiled a 4-2 record in their six preseason games.

Aside from the mostly complete win and Philipp Grubauer’s shutout, Seattle coach Dave Hakstol, perhaps, gave Kraken fans an early glimpse of what the 23-man roster might look like going into the Vegas game.

A little further down in the story will be more on what the four lines and defensive pairings looked like against Vancouver.

But first, all the good stuff from Tuesday night:

Puck-moving defenseman Vince Dunn, a Stanley Cup winner with the St. Louis Blues in 2019, showed his goal-scoring value by potting the first two tallies of the night a little more than two minutes apart early in the second period. His first goal, on the power play, was a slap shot on a give-and-go with Calle Jarnkrok, a forward playing the point. The second was on a wrister on a pass play from Jaden Schwartz (another former Stanley Cup winner with the Blues) and Jared McCann.

Late in the second, Ryan Donato made it 3-0 on the power play by lifting a Jarnkrok rebound on a shot from the point high into the net.

All the while, Grubauer, backed by a solid team defensive effort, kept the Canucks off the board. A former Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goaltender and a Stanley Cup winner with the Washington Capitals in 2018, Grubauer made 38 saves, but was not severely tested much.

With under a minute to go in the game, Nathan Bastian fired home a rebound of a Carson Soucy wrist shot for the 4-0 final count. Brandon Tanev started the play with a pass back to Soucy at the point.


All Kraken players were on top of their jobs all night. Defensively, everyone out there on the ice made it a priority to get into coverage in a hurry or to get in the way or make a play on the oncoming opponents.

That kind of hustle was shown over and over and over again and is becoming a HALLMARK of the team already.

Carson Souzy moved in from the point for a wrist shot. After that, Nathan Bastian
(not pictured) scored on the rebound in Seattle’s 4-0 win over Vancouver.

In the offensive zone, the forecheckers didn’t allow the Vancouver players to rest easy on the breakouts.

And puck control is obviously something Hakstol is instilling. There were very few bad or errant passes, and it was tape to tape team puck movement — and not a bunch of stretch passes — that worked to get the puck out of the defensive zone and also to get the puck into the offensive zone.

One thing to keep in mind, and this is important: Just because the Kraken pretty much had their way with Vancouver doesn’t mean they’re going to have the same kind of success against some of the titans of the league.

The referees had to separate Seattle’ Nathan Bastian, right, and Vancouver’s Tyler Graovac.

Overall in the game, Seattle killed four penalties and went 2-for-6 with a man advantage.

The Kraken were outshot 38-25, but had the edge in face-offs won, 35-34.


For the most part, Hakstol appears to have his lines and defensive personnel set. There are sure to be changes between now and the historic first game against Vegas in one week. But it’s doubtful that there will be very many shakeups.

Don’t bite the writer if he couldn’t tell on Tuesday night which units were the third and fourth lines, so let me know if I mix it up, OK?

Here’s what I saw for Tuesday at the forward positions:

First line
>> 16-Jared McCann, LW
>> 17-Jaden Schwartz, C
>> 7-Jordan Eberle, RW

Second line
19-Calle Jarnkrok, LW
21-Alex Wennberg, C
72-Joonas Donskoi, RW

Third line
13-Brandon Tanev, LW
15-Riley Sheahan, C
14-Nathan Bastian, RW

Fourth line
9-Ryan Donato, LW
67-Morgan Geekie, C
22-Mason Appleton, RW

And whoever ends up being the 12 forwards, someone will eventually be demoted when center Yanni Gourde, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Tampa Bay, returns form the injured list.


Fifteen-year veteran Mark Giordano, a former Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman, saw plenty of action and of all the people on the team, his position in the top pairing is solid.

He played plenty against Vancouver, but it appeared that Hakstol was concentrating on seeing what two particular pairings could do. Most of the night, Dunn was out there with Jeremy Lauzon. Another pairing was Adam Larsson with Carson Soucy. A sixth defenseman, Haydn Fleury, also saw a lot of action Tuesday.

THE BIG GUESS here is that Giordano will be paired with Larsson, and Dunn will go with Lauzon. Soucy and Fleury could be the third pairing or Hakstol may wind up going with someone who didn’t play Tuesday. Will Borgen, Dennis Choolowski and Jamie Oleksiak are possibilities there, too.


Here is how Seattle fared in its six preseason games:

>> Sept. 26: Seattle 5, Vancouver 3, at Spokane, Wash.
>> Sept. 28: At Edmonton 6, Seattle 0
>> Sept. 29: Seattle 4, at Calgary 3, SO
>> Oct. 1: Seattle 2, Edmonton 1, OT, at Everett, Wash.
>> Oct. 2: Calgary 4, Seattle 1, at Kent, Wash.
>> Oct. 5: Seattle 4, at Vancouver 0

Author’s note: This is Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 7:50 p.m. Hawaii time and I am hereby stating that if the term SEA Worthy to describe the Seattle Kraken has not been used before in print or on the Internet by anyone, then I am taking credit for inventing it and calling it my intellectual property and expect royalties from anyone who uses it for profit.


Seattle Kraken Are Down To 29 Roster Players With Five More Cuts To Go Before Oct. 12 Opener

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