Today marks the first game action we have seen of the NHL’s 32’s franchise, the Seattle Kraken. The team took the ice in their stunning new uniforms and played an intrasquad game in front of media and fans at the Community Iceplex in Northgate, WA.
Coach Hakstol split the squad into Blue and White teams. Here they are from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
Right out of the gate, the White team set the tone. Their possession was uninterrupted for a good five minutes. Chris Driedger, who started for the Blue team was left out to dry. Joonas Donskoi opened the scoring and from there, the first half was the White team show. Cale Fleury scored from the point, Donskoi followed with his second of the game. Philip Grubauer started in net for the White team and shut down the Blue side. Eventually, the first half ended with the White team up 3-0.
Following the end of the half, the team practiced penalty shots. Accordingly, Grubauer was on top of it, stopping all that challenged him. The highlight was Ryan Donato. Skating in on the right side, as Donato hit the circle he traced its path to the net and faked Driedger out of his shorts to score. After the game, the two got together to discuss.
After the shootout shenanigans, the teams took to the ice for another half of hockey. Antoine Bibeau took over for Blue and Joey Daccord for White. After some back and forth, Dennis Cholowski (who is battling for a spot) coughed up the puck to Kole Lind who skated in and ripped it past Bibeau for a 4-0 White lead. Moments later, Marcus Johannson goes high glove on Daccord to make it 4-1. To cap off the action, McCann passes to Schwartz for an empty-net goal to make it 5-1.
Following the game, Brandon Tanev gave some much-needed explanation regarding a hot story:
A lot of players mentioned how amazing the culture the organization has built and promoted. What this does is build pride in these players to be playing for such an organization.
Ryker Evans continues to impress the coaching staff with his “Good poise, good vision with the puck”. He looked slick out there and looked like he belonged, which is a testament to the scouting staff. That third defensive pairing is going to be a battle.
One notable absence was Alex Wennberg who is with his family as his partner is expecting a child any minute now. We at Kraken the Ice send our best to the Wennberg clan. Also, Colin Blackwell remains out and day-to-day.
Next up, the first preseason game of the year and in club history as they make their way to Spokane for a “home” game vs. the Vancouver Canucks. No word on who will be in the game, but if history tells us anything it will be all the guys battling for spots and a mix of the players already penciled in as starters.
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