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A kracken' the ice year in review


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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Expectations were ridiculous high after the immidiate success of the Knights just a few years before. Even after an expansion draft that looked like more sows ear than silk purse a lot of folks expected them to compete for a playoff spot.


FINAL RECORD 27-49-6 60 points, last in the Pacific Division


HIGH POINT OF THE SEASON After losing the season opener 4-3 to the Knights two nights later they bested Nashville 4-3 in their second game for their first win as an organization. Grubauer was particularly sharp, Wennberg and Mccann both had a goal and assist.


LOW POINT OF THE SEASON Well, from there they discovered they werent destined to be the Knights. They lost four, won two and then lost eight of the next nine the last seven of which they gave up four or more goals in every single game. After being crushed by the Avalanche 7-3 on November 12th they sat at 4-12-1 and the Bataan death march towards the end of a lost season was on. They only had one winning streak of three games all year. 


WHAT WENT RIGHT Jared Mccann led the team with 27 goals and 50 points. Gourde missed eight games and played tough through nagging injuries most of the year but gutted out 21 goals as did Jordan Eberle. Wennberg showed flashes. Vince Dunn is established as a Bonafide top pair defender. Branden Tanev before going down for the year near the break was well on his way to a career year. Soucy threw in ten goals from the back end. Matty Beniers signed after Michigan was eliminated and the second pick in the draft looked really, really good. They traded the present for a fair amount of futures, they only have their own first rounder but have four second rounders and will have 5 picks in the top fifty or so in this years draft, and already have three seconds for next year too.


WHAT WENT WRONG Grubauer went from being a Vezina candidate to being arguably the biggest free agent bust of 21-22. Jaden Schwartz couldnt stay on the ice and couldnt score when he was. this was an equal oppurtunity ineptness, 13 players were double digits minus in the plus/minus category. Chris Driedger was nearly as bad in net as Grubuaer. Donskoi and Rask were pure busts. 


FREE AGENTS Rask, Sheahan and Poulliot will be gone and quickly forgotten except as a footnote as players who appeared on a first year expansion team.


TOP PROSPECTS Beniers is the real deal and will stick this year as the teams top line center. Ryker Evans may make the team starting as the 4/5 defender but with upside of being able to play in the top pairing. Kole Lind didnt crack the lineup last year but is a former Canuck pick who will likely get a shot at a bottom six role this year. That is about it. All this will change this year with the additional picks they are hoarding. Rumor is the Kraken may  look to move down in this years draft to attempt to secure even more futures. They are building for 24-25 and are asking the fans for a few years of understanding.


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR Daniel Spong tallied 11 goals on the road with a 10.9 shooting percentage but was inept at home with only 3 on 62 shots (4.7 shooting pct.).Gourde (15 goals at home, 6 on the road) had a significant split. The stat that stands out is they musta been boring as hell to watch most nights, they had the lowest combined shots on goal between them and their opponent in the NHL last year. A lot of time spent knocking the puck around by both teams in the nuetral zone. Yawn.


OFFSEASON OUTLOOK They may make a splash in free agency, they are set up nicely to do so cap wise but mostly it looks as if Ron francis is content to play the long game building around picks and futures as he puts the team together from the bottom up. It is the exact opposite of the Knights way, but IMHO with a bit of patience the team could be good in a couple of years.

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