Well, the Kraken can’t win ’em all. The Kraken especially can’t win ’em all when they take their entire top scoring line out, two of their top-four defensemen, and their top goalie, and send out whatever’s left to try to stop Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and essentially the entire regular NHL lineup of the Edmonton Oilers.
On Sunday, the Kraken dressed most of their veterans to take on an undermanned and very youthful group of Canucks. Seattle took advantage, looked good, and skated to a 5-3 win. As we said after that game, the result probably should have been taken with a grain of salt, based on which players had participated.
When we saw who was playing for Edmonton on Tuesday compared with who was playing for Seattle, we knew it had the makings of a bloodbath. We were right, but again, the result should be taken with a grain of salt.
Here’s what we took away from Seattle’s shellacking at the hands of McDavid and the Oilers.
Takeaway #1: Connor McDavid is good
Don’t worry, we’ll talk more about the Kraken, but the overarching story of Tuesday’s game was the otherworldly play of McDavid, who predictably drove the bus for the Oilers.
Have you seen this guy? Have you heard about this guy? Watching McDavid on Tuesday was both awe inspiring and terrifying at the same time. The way he was able to navigate the offensive zone doing essentially whatever he wanted was a bit concerning to watch from a Seattle perspective.
16 minutes into the first period, he slipped the puck around Nathan Bastian in a way that made the Kraken forward look a bit like a pylon. He didn’t convert on that play, but seconds later McDavid got the puck back and found new teammate Zach Hyman standing wide open on the doorstep. All Hyman had to do was put his stick on the ice, and McDavid found it for one of the easiest goals of Hyman’s career.
McDavid ended the night with a goal, two assists, three shots on goal, and several jaw-dropping moments.
Takeaway #2: Ryker Evans shows promise
It can be hard to find bright spots in a 6-0 loss, but there were a few for the Kraken. One sliver of silver lining (wow, “sliver” and “silver” are very similar-looking words, aren’t they?) was the play of 19-year-old defenseman Ryker Evans.
Evans, the second-round pick of the Kraken in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft, turned some heads in Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage. That day, he had a few impressive offensive plays, including one where he toe-dragged around a defender off the rush and nearly scored.
On Tuesday in Edmonton, Evans was back at it, looking smooth and poised on an NHL stage facing some of the best players in the world. He was officially credited with a shot on goal, two blocked shots, and two hits in 20:39 of ice time, significantly more time than we expected him to get.
At this stage, we still fully anticipate that Evans will be returned to the Regina Pats of the WHL, and as does he. But he has shown very well in this training camp and will almost certainly be knocking on the NHL door next season.
Takeaway #3: Joey Daccord impresses in small sample size
The other positive for the Kraken on Tuesday was netminder Joey Daccord, who took over for Chris Driedger in the third period when the score was already 5-0. There were a couple odd plays with the puck by Daccord, but aside from that, he looked rock solid in his Kraken preseason debut, turning away nine of 10 shots and allowing just one goal in five rounds of the just-for-laughs shootout that followed the game.
There were two stops that stuck out. The first was when Kyle Turris received a pass just a few feet outside the crease to Daccord’s left. For a moment, it looked like a sure goal for Turris, but Daccord slid across in plenty of time and gloved the shot, quickly taking away every inch of the open net that Turris had just been seeing.
The second was when McDavid flew into the zone, swooping low to cut around a defender and trying to take the puck across the goalmouth to tuck it around Daccord on the stickside. Daccord read it perfectly and threw a pokecheck that took the puck right off the stick of the best player in the world. It was a gutsy and perfectly executed play by Daccord.
Like Evans, we do not expect Daccord, a friend of the Sound Of Hockey Podcast, to be on the Kraken roster when they break camp. Assuming no injuries to Philipp Grubauer or Driedger, Daccord is Charlotte bound. Still, it’s great to see that the third goalie appears to be NHL ready in case something comes up that presses him into action.
Darren Brown is the Chief Content Officer at Sound Of Hockey and the host, producer, and editor of the Sound Of Hockey Podcast. He is an inconsistent beer league goalie who believes that five players have to make a mistake before the puck gets to him. Follow him on Twitter @DarrenFunBrown or email firstname.lastname@example.org.