Kraken fans shouldn’t panic. The club started last season 1-1-and-2 through its first five games of the season, including an early 0-2-and-1 stretch at home. They ended up with a 4-4-and-2 record for the month of October and they headed off into the depths of the season with some confidence.
The pivotal point came when they beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on the road on October 21st in their 6th game of the season.
An Avalanche match-up could prove a pivot point again as the 0-2-and-1 Kraken face-off against Colorado at Climate Pledge Arena on Tuesday night in Seattle’s home opener.
In two years the Kraken have yet to win their first game at home. They lost to the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in their inaugural opener with Conor Garland scoring the 3rd period game winner for the Pacific Division northern neighbors, and last season Seattle dropped a 5-2 decision to the Vegas Golden Knights.
As revealed by the club Monday, tenacious Kraken winger Brandon Tanev will miss four to six weeks with a lower body injury. Initially it was believed to be a head injury, given the illegal hit committed by Golden Knights forward Brett Howden that resulted in a two-game suspension.
It turns out the real injury occurred when Tanev fell awkwardly while twisting a leg. One will hope it’s not related to the ACL injury that ended his first season in Seattle on December 18th, 2021.
Aside from Tanev’s absence, Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol decided to make a couple of forward line changes, if Monday’s practice is any indication.
The potential new look middle-6 up front:
Jaden Schwartz – Alex Wennberg – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Eeli Tolvanen – Yanni Gourde – Andre Burakovsky
Wennberg and Bjorkstrand were previously teammates together with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There’s no doubt the Kraken need a scoring spark and a line juggle can often bring it.
There’s no doubt that Colorado will be looking to ruin Seattle’s home opener. The Avalanche were none too happy about the Kraken bouncing them out of the 2023 playoffs in the 1st-round.
They’re going to get their chances, and there’s a good chance superstar center Nathan MacKinnon will be a wild horse in this one.
Seattle’s goalie Philipp Grubauer and forward Andre Burakovsky, the latter being part of the team that won the Cup in Denver in the 2022, will have a bit of extra motivation against their former teammates. ‘Grooby’ performed admirably in the postseason and looked good in his first two starts last week.
The Kraken will want to improve on their 20-17-and-4 home record from last season. That effort starts Tuesday night.
— Seattle Kraken Minus Tanev, Change Up LInes Ahead Of Home Opener
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