The expansion Kraken lost their season opener and head south to take on a Predators’ team that will playing in their first game.
The Kraken lost their first game ever giving up two goals to the last expansion team in the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Seattle looks to take a page from them since Vegas made the Stanley Cup finals in their inaugural season.
The Predators made the playoffs last season losing in the first round. The team has some established vets and some young guns and they look to improve upon the attack, which was their weakness last season.
Showing Resolve EarlyIn the Kraken’s first game ever they were on the road and faced the Golden Knights but showed resolve in losing 4-3 after being down 3-0. The team had one more shot in the game (31-30) and while they killed all three of Vegas’ power play chances, they were also 0/3 with the extra man. Ryan Donato, Jared McCann, and Morgan Geekie all lit the lamp in the losing effort and Philipp Grubauer gave up four goals on 30 shots.
McCann scored in the opener and he looks to build on last season where he scored 14 goals and had 18 assists in only 43 games. The defense for the club is led by experienced players that have a lot of size and are physical. While the attack has some talent that is the part of the team that is the biggest concern. The defense did give up four goals in the opener but should be the strength of the team. However, Grubauer, who was a 2021 Vezina Trophy finalist, must play better in between the pipes after giving up four goals in the season-opener.
Rebuild Or Not?Before the season the GM of the Predators said the team would be in a “competitive rebuild.” The team is transitioning to more younger players and two key veterans are Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm, who are both free agents at the end of the season. The team is high on the young FW trio of Eeli Tolvanen, Yakov Trenin, and Tanner Jeannot, who will have bigger roles this season after playing well at the end of last season. Luke Kunin missed most of his first season in Nashville with injuries but came on strong late and he will be key since Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok. Are gone.
One big storyline for the Preds will be the play of G Juuse Saros. He was solid poast season as Pekka Rinne’s backup but with him gone Saros is the man and has to prove he can be a
The Nashville Predators are:
The Seattle Kraken are: