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Monday Morning Squid Words

You’re telling me it’s Monday and the Kraken don’t play for 3 days?

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Winnipeg Jets v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Kraken lost in brutal fashion last night, and unfortunately we’ve got a few days to stew on that one while we wait for the next winning streak to start — ideally just until this Thursday when they host the Rangers. In the meantime, let’s check in on how the team has done so far this year according to the numbers, and visit what the NHL world is saying about our favorite cephalopods.

What’s Kraken

  • The Kraken ranked 8th and 11th in last weekend’s power rankings according to ESPN and The Athletic, respectively. Not too shabby for a team ranked 28th and 23rd by those two outlets before the year began.
  • Martin Jones has been fantastic of late, making some wonder what the goaltending situation will look like once Philipp Grubauer returns. [Seattle Sports 710]
  • Speaking of Martin Jones, let’s dive a little deeper here into his play. Over the past three weeks, he has been one of the absolute best starting goaltenders in the NHL.
Martin Jones of the Seattle Kraken ranks 6th in the NHL in goals saved above expectation since October 24th
  • Jones’ .936 save percentage is 26 points higher than what we’d expect based on the quality of shots he’s faced, and he’s saved more than 5 goals over expectation based on shot quality as well. There’s not only an argument to be made that he deserves the starting job until he doesn’t, but an argument to be made that he’s a top-10 goalie this season.
  • Checking in on Matty Beniers Calder Watch:
Matty Beniers ranks 2nd among NHL rookies in points as of November 14th
  • Matias Maccelli has taken over as the rookie points leader, but Beniers remains one of just two rookies with a positive on-ice xGF% this season (read: the Kraken are expected to score more goals than their opponent while Beniers is on the ice).

The season at a glance

We’re about 20% of the way through the 2022-23 NHL season. Let’s take a peek under the hood to see what the underlying numbers are saying about which teams are good (the Kraken!), which are bad (the Ducks, woof) and which are a product of their luck.

NHL team expected goals for and against rates at 5-on-5. The Seattle Kraken are in the “good” quadrant

At 5-on-5, the Kraken are a top-5 team in terms of shot quality allowed. Combine that with solid goaltending and you’re left with a team in Seattle that ranks 6th in fewest goals allowed per 60 minutes at 5-on-5.

NHL team expected goal share and PDO. The Kraken are in the “good vibes” tier

The Kraken are generating more chances than their opponents at 5-on-5 and they’re getting better luck* on those chances as well. Their save percentage is up (especially in recent weeks) and their shooting percentage is also top-10 in the NHL right now. What a time to be alive.

*luck defined as PDO: team shooting percentage + team save percentage, a metric that tends to regress towards 1 as the season goes along

We’ll keep track of these numbers as the season rolls along, but for now just know this: the Kraken are a good hockey team. Go squids.