BROCK AND SALK

Jordan Eberle: Kraken ‘gelling,’ why Seattle is so tough to play against

Dec 3, 2022, 11:56 AM

Seattle Kraken Jordan Eberle...

Jordan Eberle of the Seattle Kraken skates against the San Jose Sharks on November 23, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

After a disappointing inaugural season, it stands to reason that expectations for the Seattle Kraken would be low entering Year 2. But boy, that hasn’t been the case at all for this team this season.

The Kraken have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the last month and won their seventh game in a row on Thursday with a 3-2 overtime win against the Washington Capitals, giving Seattle 13 wins in its last 16 games.

Matty Beniers scores in OT, Seattle Kraken rally past Capitals 3-2

Currently, the Kraken have the second-most points in the Western Conference and the fifth-most points in the NHL.

“Yeah, we’re playing well right now. It’s been a lot of fun,” Kraken winger Jordan Eberle told Mike Salk Friday morning during Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Brock and Salk. “We’re gelling as a team, we’re finding ways to win … And last night I thought we played one of our best wins of the season, so we need to keep it going.”

Eberle, 32, is one of the more veteran players for Seattle and was one of just a few scoring threats the team had last season. This year, Eberle is tied for second in points and is fifth in goals.

An issue the Kraken have brought up when talking about their struggles last season was that COVID-19 protocols made it hard for the team to get to know each other. That hasn’t been the case this season.

“That was definitely an obstacle a little bit for us. I think more than anything, it was just having a brand new group together, having a short amount of time to get to know each other and just the turnaround of being drafted, finding a place here, coming into camp. I mean, everything’s new,” Eberle said. “This year we had a baseline of what we had done last year, maybe as little as it was, but just everything being familiar again and then on top of that we added some pretty big pieces. We had a lot of pieces in place last year, but we were just missing a few things. And once we addressed those, we’ve really taken off.”

Eberle’s line in particular has really taken off. He plays opposite fellow veteran winger Jared McCann with star rookie Matty Beniers at center. Beniers is tied for second in points on the Kraken and is tied with McCann for the team lead in goals.

“Canner and I got to be able to play a little bit last year (together) and just developed some chemistry. I’m a strong believer in the more you play with guys, you just understand their tendencies and there’s subtle things of what they like to do when they have the puck or the plays they like to make,” Eberle said. “But as soon as you pick up on that stuff you can just react easier to it and quicker and it just gives you that half second. So Canner and I are starting to get that a little more from playing with each other for a while.”

And Beniers has been a big part of the Kraken’s success, scoring the game-winner in overtime on Thursday.

“He’s only 19 years old, so he’s gonna continue to grow and get bigger and stronger and just get better,” Eberle said of the rookie.

And while Eberle’s line with McCann and Beniers has been the top scoring unit for Seattle this season, Eberle stressed that the Kraken have some of the best depth in the NHL.

“I think the strength of our group that we have as a team is in our depth,” he said. “We have four lines that are tough to play against. And on any given night, one of those lines is going to perform and score. Those are the tough teams to beat, in my opinion. Those are the teams that go deep in the playoffs. It’s still pretty early and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but things are going well for us.”

But making the playoffs is definitely a big goal for Eberle and the Kraken this year.

“It’s been fun. This rink we’re playing at is one of the nicest in the league and I think one of the loudest, so to get the playoffs here and get this city really seeing what playoff hockey is all about is our No. 1 goal and hopefully we get there,” he said.

Listen to the full interview with Eberle at this link or in the player below.

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