Seattle, WA – Coming into tonight’s contest, the Seattle Kraken had never beaten their rivals to the North, the Vancouver Canucks, through six meetings in Seattle’s existence. A team that has seen vast change in numerous ways, the Kraken put their foot (or tentacle) down and annihilated the Canucks in a six goals to one performance. Seattle jumped out to a two-goal lead throughout the first frame, dominating possession and pinning Vancouver deep in their own zone. Seattle tacked on three more goals in period two, effectively putting the game to bed with 20 minutes still to play.
Oliver Bjorkstrand has had the “snake bitten” label all over him for the entirety of the 2022-23 season with Seattle, having near miss after near miss plague him. Underlying numbers have shown that the former Columbus Blue Jacket has still performed well for the Kraken, but he just might be turning a corner. Bjorkstrand was feeling his game early, scoring the first goal of the night on a juicy rebound thanks to a shot by Adam Larsson. Bjorkstrand, while falling backwards, fired away instantly and beat a sprawled-out Spencer Martin top shelf. Bjorkstrand spoke postgame about his performance tonight.
“It feels good, I feel better. I feel like I’m creating more, just as a line we’re playing really well together. With Tolvy and Gourdy. It’s definitely nice to see it go in,” Bjorkstrand said.
The Kraken imposed their will against Vancouver, showering the Canucks with waves of goals, courtesy of their depth. Five Seattle skaters scored goals and ten of them recorded a point in a complete all-around effort. Not only did nearly half the team have a hand in scoring, but the collective group did an excellent job of blocking shots, keeping Vancouver out of prime passing lanes, and playing selfless hockey. Although it came against a struggling Canucks team, Seattle’s well-rounded performance is a prime example of what this group can accomplish when they play their game for the entirety of 60 minutes. Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol reflected on his team’s performance, postgame.
“We played 60 minutes, made it hard right from the start. We played a real direct game, did everything pretty quick, and we sustained that through the first 40 minutes and for the majority of 60 minutes. We didn’t give up very much because of that,” Hakstol stated.
The Kraken will get a team day off following tonight’s beatdown of the Canucks, a well-earned one at that. The rest is a short one, though, as Seattle picks things up on Friday, January 27th against the Calgary Flames in the first game of a back-to-back. Puck drop for another divisional rivalry game is at 7PM PST, as the Flames will look to disrupt Seattle’s positive play heading into the All-Star break.