Three takeaways in a 2-1 Kraken win over the Canucks

Seattle Kraken v Vegas Golden Knights

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 11: Joey Daccord #35 of the Seattle Kraken takes a break during a stop in play in the second period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on April 11, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights defeated the Kraken 4-1. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Eeli Tolvanen scored for the third time this preseason against the Vancouver Canucks and earned the game winner in the third period, in a 2-1 Seattle Kraken victory at Abbotsford Centre on Wednesday. 

The Kraken, for what it’s worth, are now 3-1-1 in the pre-season with one game left to decide roster spots and finish with a final tune-up. That will be Friday at Edmonton, who rolled Calgary 7-2 on a four point night by Connor McDavid and appear to have their heavy artillery all set. 

However, the focus is on a one-goal win for the Kraken, who split duties between Joey Daccord and Chris Driedger for a combined 22-save effort. Driedger earned the win by stopping all seven saves in the third. 

Three takeaways from Wednesday night’s win: 

1.     Joey Daccord has continued to show progress well-deserving of an NHL roster spot. He’s made big saves all pre-season – again, we’re careful with the context because of that magic word – but in the dress rehearsal phase, where the open competition exists for a job behind Philipp Grubauer, he’s been the best. Daccord was severely tested Wednesday in the second period, and only a Carson Soucy shot through a screen fooled him. It’s the only goal Daccord has surrendered in three pre-season games, owning a .974 save percentage. 

Chris Driedger was solid in the third period – especially in the final seconds – to preserve the win. But Daccord is doing everything in his power to deservedly grab the backup job. This may go down to the final game (update: it will – Driedger nor Daccord were among the 14 players cut and sent to the AHL on Thursday morning). 


2.     Eeli Tolvanen is picking up where he left off. His line passed the eye test in their first game, with Yanni Gourde in the middle and Oliver Bjorkstrand on the right wing. Gourde didn’t play Wednesday, and Shane Wright took a turn between the two veteran forwards. Tolvanen found open ice for the 2-1 lead, and confidently wired a shot to the back of the net. Confidence is a core value that’s apparent in Tolvanen’s game, tied now for the Kraken lead with three pre-season goals. They haven’t been cheap. 

3.     How about more neutral site games? Maybe this is a pie-in-the-sky idea, but the Three Rink Rush was a smashing hit two autumns ago. How about another trip to a neutral site venue? Everett, Kent, and Spokane all sold out when the Kraken and the imagination of a new expansion team arrived. How about we do it again? Or try Wenatchee or Portland? What about Boise (yes, the Golden Knights have a footprint there), where there are traces of Seattle connections, to the point where Dave Tippett told 93.3 KJR-FM four years ago that Boise was in the mix to land the AHL affiliation? Or Anchorage, Alaska, a.k.a. “Seattle North” to many who have resided there? Abbotsford has an AHL affiliation with the Canucks, geographically making sense. It’s also a setting for an intimate arrival with fans enjoying autographs and photos as the team stepped off the bus. 

For the Kraken, it would have to make sense on a goodwill and connection level with its fanbase, but options exist to add an extra dimension to the pre-season schedule in the future. 

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