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Game 19: Hurricanes @ Kraken: Do The Good Thing Again

November 24, 2021, 5:10 PM ET [22 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Seattle Kraken Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Seattle Kraken played arguably their most complete game of the season against the Washington Capitals. The forward lines all got involved in the scoring, as did the defense. The blue line actually were able to defend their own zone making life much easier on their goaltender who was still able to make some pretty key saves.

Seattle was able to pull all of this together against a Caps team that was on their second of a back to back. Tonight they will need to try to do such against one of the deadliest teams in the National Hockey League right now in the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes are the kind of team that Seattle should try to aspire to in the next four to five seasons. The Hurricanes have drafted extremely well over the past half decade. Aho, Svechnikov, Necas, Seth Jarvis, Lorentz, Pesce, and Slavin are all draft picks from the Hurricanes. Add to that some smart trades for players like Bear, Teravainen, Niederreiter, and Trocheck and that is real depth that few teams can compete with. Ron Francis was not able to incentivize other teams enough to force them to trade him draft picks to protect players, I do expect the next step to do such will be at the trade deadline should the Kraken remain on the outside.

Tonight I am watching Seth Jarvis the most on the other side. Jarvis was selected 13th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2020 NHL Draft and now finds himself on the top line with Aho with 6 points in his first 10 games. Though they have completely different styles of play, Kraken fans should hope that their own first round pick from 2021 in Matty Beniers will be able to come in next season and make an impact. We haven't discussed Beniers since the draft but the 6'2 175lb centre has already tied his previous goal total of 10 with the University of Michigan in 10 fewer games and leads his team in goals and sits third in total points with 17. The way to success for Seattle will not be through trades like the Golden Knights did, it will be developing young talent like Beniers.

It does look like Mason Appleton will play tonight in his first game since October 26th. When selected, Appleton looked like he could be one of the best bottom six forwards for this team with the potential to play some reps in the top six. Injuries and his own inconsistent play have derailed that but hopefully tonight he can start taking some steps to finding his game again, likely on a third line with Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev. I like the mix that Hakstol has put together on this line and I expect them to be a real pain for the Canes to deal with tonight.

The Vince Dunn rollercoaster continues with Dunn staying on a third pairing with Carson Soucy. Dunn has the wheels and offensive prowess to play at the NHL level but it seems like every mistake he makes results in the puck ending up in the back of Seattle's net. I do believe there is a top four defender there in Dunn but somehow the coaching staff needs to break through and limit the mistakes he makes each game.

Nathan Bastian was put on waivers today. The 23 year old has one goal and one assist in 12 games this season. The fourth line continues to be a mixed bag of meh for Seattle and while I don't think Bastian has been the worst player there he also hasn't done enough to merit a locked down spot either. I wonder if the Devils have any desire to bring him back again.

How can Seattle win this game? Shutting down Aho would be a good start. The top line centre has 3 goals and 6 points in his last 5 games. In two of those games he was held completely off the scoresheet but had 2 points in each of the other 3 games. The Hurricanes are winning games but they've won a number of one goal games and limiting the Hurricanes best forward could be enough to turn the tides the other way.

Another strategy that could go a long way? Don't wake up Andrei Svechnikov. Svechnikov is second on the team in goals with 7 but hasn't scored a goal in his last 10 games, dating back to October 31st. Svech is still putting up 3 or 4 shots in most games so he remains a scoring threat whenever he is on the ice. The Kraken need to avoid being the team to help him get over his slump.
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