RECAP: Kraken lose home opener to rival Canucks


After days, weeks, months, and years of anticipation, the Seattle Kraken home opener finally took place, Saturday evening. Climate Pledge Area looked amazing, the pregame festivities looked great, and (for two and a half periods) the Kraken looked great. Unfortunately, there are three periods in a full-length game.

The first period was relatively entertaining, and both goaltenders played well. Philipp Grubauer stopped all nine shots he faced, while Thatcher Demko stopped 11 of the 12 he faced. Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn waited until the final five seconds of the period to not only start the scoring but put his name in the record books as the first player (for either team) to score in Climate Pledge arena.

For one of the few times this season, the Kraken outplayed their opponent to begin the game.

Things began looking up, as the Kraken outplayed the Canucks in the second period, as well. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Canucks tied the game shortly after the halfway point of the second period. Bo Horvat snapped the puck past Grubauer following a Mark Giordano turnover. This would take teams into the intermission tied at one goal.

The third period became the “tale of two periods”. Mark Giordano made amends for his gaffe in the second period by putting the Kraken up 2–1, five minutes into the final period.

This began to turn sour once the game reached the second half of the third period. The problems started when Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy took a penalty for tripping Canucks forward Juho Lammikko. On the resulting powerplay, Horvat shoveled a Quinn Hughes rebound into a wide-open net to tie the game.

Three minutes later, Connor Garland jumped on a missed Vince Dunn keep-in and raced in on Grubauer. Garland faked a shot, which froze Grubauer long enough to expose his five-hole. The Canucks agitator made no mistake, as Grubauer knew he was beaten. This would turn out to be the game-winner, with Justin Dowling scoring an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Anchor points

 Grubauer (.880 sv%) played better than most of his previous games, but he had Garland at a bad angle and still got beaten. Demko, on the other hand, finished with a .935 sv%.

  The Kraken got stomped at the faceoff dot, losing 61% of their total faceoffs.

 As odd as it may seem, the Kraken possession numbers were really good in the second period (74.07% 5-on-5 Corsi) and rather terrible in the first (36.67% 5-on-5 Corsi) and third (44.74% 5-on-5 Corsi) periods. The Kraken out-chanced the Canucks in high-danger opportunities 11–2.

⚓ After starting the season on a complete rampage, Brandon Tanev was one of the worst players on the ice, statistically. His 5-on-5 percentages (Corsi and Fenwick) were both under 35%.

 The Kraken are off today and tomorrow and host the Montreal Canadiens at Climate Pledge Arena, Tuesday evening. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT. 

About Jeff Osborn

Jeff has covered the Blackhawks since 2009 with his former website and podcast The Puckin Hostile Shoutcast until 2017, when he moved over to The Rink. After a short hiatus to cover the inaugural Seattle Kraken season, he came back to Blackhawks coverage and started "The Net Perspective" podcast to discuss goaltending and goaltender development.