clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Consistently Inconsistent: the Seattle Kraken story

The Kraken’s 2022-23 story may be writing itself

Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Every National Hockey League team goes through ups and downs over the course of an 82 game season. There’s so much unpredictability in a game where one goal is so often the difference between a satisfying win and a devastating loss, but for the Seattle Kraken, those peaks and valleys appear to be crammed together in any given week, and sometimes within a single specific game.

Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Shift by shift, on some evenings, you can catch a glimpse of a true NHL contender, be it an epic goal or clutch save, but shortly afterward the team comes back to earth, often giving up a goal just after they’ve scored. It was worse last season, but the tendencies are still there in early 2022-23.

Bright moments

The win against the Colorado Avalanche was a master class, and while it’s possible that the defending champs took a game against Seattle for granted and were less prepared than they might be next time, the numbers showed that Seattle outworked, outshot, and most importantly outscored their opponent that evening. The win salvaged a frightening week, where losses against the St. Louis Blues and Carolina Hurricanes threatened to put the Kraken in an early standings hole.

Seattle Kraken v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

But a short time later, versus the Chicago Blackhawks, two winnable points weren’t captured. It was a similar story this week, with a convincing win over the Buffalo Sabres followed by a loss to the, at the time, winless Vancouver Canucks. It can be frustrating as a fan, knowing that your team is capable of more than they deliver on certain game days.

Seattle Kraken v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

Most would agree that the Kraken are a deeper squad this season. Both the veterans and rookies added to the upper end of the lineup mean the team is capable of scoring more than they were last season. The rise of Will Borgen and addition of Justin Schultz give the team more defensive depth and production as well. So if the talent is there, and we’ve certainly seen it on display some nights, what might the issue be?

Utilization or Systems?

If we’ve established that the Kraken can win against any opponent on a given night, then it begs the question, why doesn’t it happen on the nights that you’d check off as an “expected” win? Some of it comes down to random chance, but as the season goes along if the team continues to give points unnecessarily to divisional opponents like Anaheim and Vancouver, the issue may hinder their hunt for a first ever playoff berth.

St Louis Blues v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

I am not ready to call for coach Dave Hakstol’s job. The sample size is small, and it naturally takes a period of time for roster to gel in any given season, but with the pieces his general manager has given him, Hakstol needs to get this team into playoff contention. Sitting fourth in the Pacific isn’t horrible, but one can’t help but look at five standings points given away in losses to the Ducks, Blackhawks and Canucks, and think of how it would feel today to be sitting atop the division in first place.