Kraken News & Rumors: Blackwell, Sheahan, Losing Streak & More

An update on all things Seattle Kraken after the first 15 games of the team’s inaugural season. 

The Kraken has stumbled out of the game this season, posting a 4-10-1 record so far. For a team that looked weak offensively, Seattle has stayed around the league average. Defensively, however, the Kraken looked strong on paper but has struggled early on. Seattle allows the fewest shots on goal per game but has allowed the second-most goals on a per-game basis. Goaltending looked like an area of strength but has been inconsistent to begin the year. Seattle is tied for the most empty-net goals allowed but still needs to play better in its own end.

Blackwell’s Kraken Debut

Forward Colin Blackwell finally made his Kraken debut in Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Seattle’s selection from the New York Rangers had been skating in practice but wasn’t fully recovered from an injury. He debuted on the fourth line alongside Morgan Geekie and Brandon Tanev. Adding Blackwell to the mix builds on Seattle’s scoring depth, which has actually been a strong point early on. After a career year with the Rangers a season ago, Blackwell will be looking to make an impact in Seattle’s bottom-six.

Sheahan Reports to Charlotte

Center Riley Sheahan was placed on waivers over the weekend to make room for Blackwell on the active roster. Sheahan suited up in each of Seattle’s first 14 games, scoring a goal and adding two assists. He averaged the second-lowest time on ice per game among Kraken regulars behind Nathan Bastian but was able to contribute regularly. Sheahan became a fixture on the Kraken penalty kill, where he averaged 1:30 of ice time per game. He will report to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, where his veteran leadership and experience will make him an asset. Sheahan will be eyeing a return to Seattle at some point later this season.

Tough Road Ahead

The Kraken doesn’t play again until Wednesday, but the next wave of games will be challenging. Their next matchup is against the Chicago Blackhawks where they’ll look to snap a four-game skid; Seattle will then go on to face 5 teams that each finished in the top-8 a season ago in consecutive games. The Kraken will be hoping for success against the struggling Blackhawks before their tough swing.

Seattle will host the Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, and Carolina Hurricanes before traveling to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers on successive nights. Of those five, only the Avalanche are currently out of a playoff spot, but could easily compete in the Central Division. The Lightning, who have won back-to-back Stanley Cups, are in a Wild Card spot and are also underachieving early on this season.

These games won’t yield easy points, but it may be a crucial series of games for the Kraken to avoid falling in a hole.