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What we learned from the first week of Kraken hockey

You can’t say it’s been uneventful, that’s for sure!

Seattle Kraken v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

So! The Kraken are 1-1-1 after seven days of being an NHL Franchise. Let’s talk about what we’ve learned!

The Seattle Road Kraken

I both entirely understand and also don’t understand why the NHL chose, of all things, to have their newest franchise start most of the first month of the season on the road.

On one hand...they played on opening night. This is the easiest layup in the business. You think Seattle fans can’t will a team in a closed building to something great? Hell, Seattle fans can do things like that in a mostly open stadium sometimes! This was a great way to reintroduce hockey to the ESPN contingent with a brand new team and YA BLEW IT.

But on the other hand...I can one hundred percent see turning this into A Thing; you’ve seen ‘em on TV. They’re anywhere from 1-4-0 or 4-1-0. You have a good idea of what they look like against a couple of Western and Eastern conference teams...and now they’re finally home. And not only are they gonna be home, their first home-stand is very easy pickings if they apply themselves; Maybe you get a little trouble from NYR or Minnesota, but you can absolutely beat Vancouver and Montreal. Even better, Vancouver’s gonna be a regional problem from here on out (or trading partner, if Jim Benning isn’t stopped.), so why not make everyone wait for the most PNW of PNW hockey games?

Still, it’s a real funny quirk of the schedule. What a rush it’s been already.

Brandon Tanev might be the perfect Seattle Kraken

So Brandon Tanev is the Kraken’s leading scorer.

Y’know, like we all thought.

Tanev’s start to this season has been absolutely phenomenal so far. Leading the team in shot attempts, third in unblocked shot attempts, and second in high-danger shot attempts as a depth forward.

In general, he’s just a delight to watch; playing with this kind of manic energy that other teams have been having a lot of trouble with, showing a lot of spunk and skill all while being...uh...

Himself. Being himself.

And that’s wonderful.

Lauzon - Dunn probably needs a re-tool.

Look, it’s week one, they could calm the hell down, play like a normal pairing and nobody could be any wiser about it.

But right now Jeremy Lauzon and Vince Dunn need to be seriously told to get themselves situated or they have to start reworking their on-ice play badly.

Dunn’s play in the opposing zone is honestly not that bad. He’s been able to pass well, get some decent shots to net, and frankly the Kraken could do with more from their defense getting involved. It’s his own end that’s been an issue right now, as he’s been making some seriously boneheaded decisions with the puck. It honestly reeks of a player trying to force a play rather than just make a

That said if he ever learns how to pass off the boards, he’ll be a Norris candidate.

But man...Jeremy Lauzon is having a bad start to his season. Nobody’s given up more attempts, unblocked attempts, or shots against among the blueliners, and let’s be frank...it’s caused more than one bad goal against for the Kraken. He’s gotta get an adjustment quickly, or he could find himself especially replaceable.

The Third Period desperately needs work.

It’s still very early on, and frankly being tied for first in the division is already an excellent sign of things to come, but if there’s one thing that the first three games of Seattle Kraken hockey have shown, it’s that this team parks it quickly once the third comes in.

Like...

NaturalStatTrick.com
NaturalStatTrick.com
NaturalStatTrick.com

...I’m not crazy, right? You know that the easiest way to break your own morale is to do that kind of thing, right?

This lack of urgency has otherwise kneecap’d at least one winnable game and could end up being a serious issue down the line. Dave Hakstol has to impress on these guys that the killer instinct comes best in the third, or the league’s best are going to create some truly agonizing watching experiences.

I mean hell, if Forslund and JT Brown are talking about it? You gotta do something about it.

The Kraken are now truly a Seattle team.

You Seahawks fans may remember the phrase “Seattle has never played a normal game”.

Well, congrats on recognizing it, because it now applies to the Kraken. And yeah, it’s still very early on but every game so far has been something else. Weird controversies in game one, the guy who stares being a massive part of the success of this team so far, such interesting gameplan choices, losing almost half your top six to COVID protocol before game one...

...The fact that on Micah McCurdy’s “Wildness” meter they have parked themselves directly on the line that is labelled “We may win, but I may die”?

It’s beautiful. It’s agony.

God I can’t wait for next game.