The Seattle Kraken continued their tour of COVID-19 postponed games Friday night by traveling to Southern California to face the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks were playing their first game since the All-Star game, where young forward Trevor Zegras stole the show.
Head Coach Dave Hakstol started goaltender Chris Driedger in net with his shiny new custom set of pads.
The game immediately started off much like the wild west, as Ryan Donato and Isac Lundestrom scored 12 seconds apart to go along with a fight between Jamie Oleksiak and Nicolas Deslauriers. The Kraken took a 2–1 lead late in the first period on a goal by Vince Dunn, which they took into the first intermission. Anaheim led in shots 11–6, but Driedger held the lead.
The Ducks came out in the second period and took a 3–2 lead after another goal by Lundestrom and a power play goal from Rickard Rakell. Donato tied the game back up late in the second with his second goal of the game, as his teammates outshot the Ducks 15–11.
In the third period, both teams fought for the lead in a tightly contested, low-event 20 minutes. The Kraken led in shots 6–5 and the only goal was the eventual game-winner from Jordan Eberle with 1:48 remaining in regulation. This turned out to be a much-needed tough win against a good opponent for the Seattle team.
⚓ Donato has been such a great find for this club. He led the Kraken in overall Corsi with 63%. I would love to see them lock him up for a couple more years to bolster the middle six. He can likely be had for a reasonable salary, one would assume.
⚓ I am still leaning toward Driedger in net for the Kraken. He was under fire in close all night and kept them in the game long enough to pull out a win. He just seems to give them more of a chance to win night in and night out. Unfortunately, it seems like salary is going to dictate the rotation more than actual results. The stats are not lying. If they want to continue to tank and try to get Shane Wright, I am not opposed to that, but if they are really trying to win some games, they need to play Driedger more.
⚓ Austin Czarnik dressed for his first game with the Kraken and was a big part of Donato’s first goal. I am more of a believer in Czarnik than some, and he could turn out to be a shrewd waiver claim. He only played 10:45 and had 60% overall Corsi, which was good for fourth overall on the Kraken.
⚓ The Kraken crushed in most 5-on-5 metrics except faceoffs. You have to give them credit for battling, but this is clearly not sustainable or a long-term plan for success.
🔱 5-on-5 Corsi (total shot attempts) 55%–45%
🔱 5-on-5 Fenwick (Unblocked shot attempts) 56%–44%
🔱 5-on-5 High-danger chances for 80%–20%
🔱 5-on-5 Expected goals for 66%–34%
🔱 Face-off percentage 56%–44%
⚓ The Kraken are off until Monday when they will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Climate Pledge Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. PST.