clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What the fancy stats are saying about the Kraken’s season to date

The math nerds agree, Seattle is good!

Jacques Inaudi, Italian calculating prodigy, Paris

It’s me. I’m the math nerds.

The Kraken continue to surprise this season, to the point that it’s arguably no longer surprising. As of Friday morning, their record sits at 15-7-3 and they are in the top half of the league (12th) in Goals For. We won’t talk about Goals Against just now, because this is a good news article, and there’s plenty to be happy about.

Montreal Canadiens v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

First a quick and dirty explanation of two established advanced statistics. Corsi (shots+blocks+misses) and Fenwick (shots+misses). These occur for both teams while a given player is on the ice and your “Corsi for %” (CF%) and “Fenwick for %” (FF%) are your own numbers divided by the total numbers (for and against). Anything above 50% means the ice is tilted in the Kraken’s favor while that particular player is on the ice.

Strong Team Numbers

The great news is that the Kraken are almost all on the positive side of 50% in both categories. Their strong analytics department (including recently promoted assistant general manager Alexandra Mandrycky) deserves significant credit, as does general manager Ron Francis for sticking with the process after an arguably disappointing Year One. Head coach Dave Hakstol is surely winning people over as well, but it is the players themselves who are delivering on the ice.

Montreal Canadiens v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

The core of the team is the same in 2022-23, in spite of a fairly significant sell off at last year’s trade deadline, but some of the new additions deserve credit for the turnaround as well. Oliver Bjorkstrand is fourth on the team in both categories (third if you don’t count Gustav Olofsson, whose single game probably isn’t a big enough sample size). Likewise Andre Burakovsky is fifth in CF% and sixth in FF%. These significant offseason additions play top six minutes and are making positive plays more often than not.

The Rookies

Matty Beniers continues his campaign for Rookie of the Year, having created a decent gap over the next rookie in terms of point production thus far, but he is also playing responsible hockey. His numbers aren’t as impressive as the players mentioned above, but at 50.6 CF% and 50.9 FF% he is still doing enough of the right things out there to help the team win. And the great news about Beniers is he will only improve over time. The Kraken appear to have won the 2021-22 Entry Draft.

While the Kraken lost the game against the Montreal Canadiens, their newest 1st Round selection showed well. His coach put him on a line with responsible wingers and not only did he score the first goal of his career, but his numbers improved dramatically. Prior to his healthy scratches and conditioning stint, Wright had been trending in the wrong direction, posting a 33 CF% in his most recent appearance. Against the Habs, he was well into the black at 65 CF%.

Wright heads off the the World Juniors, which is exactly where he should be, and the team will hopefully continue these very positive trends which indicate that it isn’t simply luck that is powering their surge to the upper end of the Western Conference standings. It’s the realization of a plan that began well before the puck dropped in the team’s first ever game. The Kraken are built on math, and you can call me a nerd, but I think the fact that it appears to be working is pretty cool.