Kraken At Canucks
In what may have been the last chance for borderline AHL/NHL’ers to make an impression, the Canucks mostly depth roster lost to the Kraken mostly depth line-up 2-1.
We had what’s become a rare event in the NHL preseason; a fight. Sort of.
At the 3:09 mark of the 1st period, Kraken forward John Hayden dropped the mitts with big Canucks defenceman Tylers Myers. Hayden landed a fist late on Myers who appeared to have absolutely no interest in throwing a punch. There’s a chance he didn’t want to injure his hand with a blow to the visor of Hayden, or maybe it was something else.
Otherwise, the period was an AHL special for the most part, the Kraken group dominating the forecheck early on. Shots were rare, ending up 4-2 for Vancouver after 20 minutes.
That’s right, 4-2 shots on goal, which means the Kraken had a 50% shooting percentage. AHL’er Andrew Poturalski took full advantage of a blatant turnover by Canucks defenseman Filip Hronek and tucked the puck in behind goalie Casey DeSmith for the lone goal of the period at 16:00.
Rookie Cole McWard is working to become the 6th NHL defenceman for Vancouver and he had a pretty solid showing. The 22-year-old former Ohio State Buckeye was signed by the Canucks as a free agent in April.
Meanwhile, it was former Kraken defenceman Carson Soucy who tied the game at 9:42. His seeing-eye wrister from near the left wing boards found its way top shelf past Joey Daccord. Funny how those “revenge” goals often seem to happen in first games against former teams.
There was a Hughes on the ice, but he wore 53, not 43, and he played for the Kraken, not the Canucks. It was Cameron, not Quinn, and he was actually pretty feisty. He seemed to be one of the more interested parties, creating opportunities off the forecheck. The 26-year-old from Edmonton had 23 points in 26 playoff games for the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the spring.
Vancouver outshot the Kraken 12-6 through two periods. You are reading that correctly.
While Desmith stayed in the game for the Canucks, goalie Chris Driedger took over for Daccord at the other end in the battle for the back-up spot in Seattle.
The Kraken failed on an early 3rd-period power play as did the Canucks on the overlapping man advantage that followed.
Seattle would get another opportunity a few moments later that Vancouver would successfully kill.
The Kraken’s top line for the evening was Shane Wright, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Eeli Tolvanen and they played like it. They had a strong evening and would tally the go-ahead goal at 12:29. Their pressure led to a shot from defenseman Cale Fleury, kicked aside by DeSmith, but Tolvanen was there to rip home the rebound for his third goal of the preseason. All three of those goals came against the Canucks.
— An AHL-laden Canucks Line-up For A Game In An AHL Barn