The Seattle Kraken looked blinded by the bright lights and big signs in Sin City tonight, dropping an ugly one to the Golden Knights 4-1. The Kraken tried their best to ruin the night for Vegas, but fell short. A game that started with all the fanfare and celebrations of the Stanley Cup banner raising, opening night turned ugly pretty quickly after two odd plays.
The Kraken started fast, out shooting Vegas 5-0 early in the first period. The Matty Beniers, Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle line did a solid job keeping the puck deep in the offensive zone. Vegas was able to capitalize on a strange rush and tape-to-tape pass that led to a Chandler Stephenson goal.
Moments later, deep in our defensive zone, Brandon Tanev’s attempt to send the puck behind our net actually was more of a primary assist on Jonathan Marchessault’s first goal of the season (I’m being sarcastic). Sitting here watching, my jaw hit the floor. At least Tanev did not fire the puck into our own net like the play originally looked.
In the second period, down 3-0, Jared McCann scored a beautiful goal and brought the Kraken back into the game. You could feel the energy slightly shift back to Seattle. Goalie Philipp Grubauer was sensational at times, and the team looked like they finally woke up.
The third period we saw the game slow down until Brandon Tanev was blindsided by Brett Howden (shot to the head) and taken out of the game. Par for the course in this one, the Kraken could get nothing going during the 5-minute major, and Eeli Tolvanen should not be on the Power Play. Jack Eichel iced the game with an empty netter, to put the game away 4-1.
- Goofy first period led to a big 2-0 hole right away. The Seattle Kraken cannot allow games to go like this. Last season we were the best team in the league at scoring 5-on-5.
- Brandon Tanev getting banged up in the third. He brings so much energy and means so much to this team and the fans. Crossing my fingers that he is OK. Dirty hit by a scumbag player (Howden).
- Kraken were 0-4 on the Power Play (including the 5-minute major)
- Vegas won 59.2% of the faceoffs. (this was one of the three keys to the game)
- Vegas won.
- The game was not all bad, all things considered. The Seattle Kraken started fast, and Vegas made a couple of strange plays. The first period got out of hand, and the team looked like it settled down midway through the second.
- The Kraken outshot Vegas 33-28.
- Jared McCann scored a goal and Jordan Eberle got an assist. The first line looked good and should be excellent all season.
- Grubauer settled down and actually played a really solid game, down the stretch (although both teams were a bit more conservative in the latter part of the game).
- The Kraken penalty kill went 4-4
The reality is that was the first game of the season. Nobody wins the Stanley Cup after the first game. Good teams do not get too high or too low. They stay the course. The Seattle Kraken are not going to go 82-0, that’s the reality.
Vegas is a good team. I hate them, but they are a good team. They are one of the favorites to win the Cup. No shame in losing on the road to them, even though sans the first period hiccups we could have beaten them. That is a promising sign. Let’s have short memory as the team heads to Nashville to take on the Predators Thursday night.
On a side note, Barry Melrose, one of the greatest ambassadors of the sport of hockey has stepped away from the game. Melrose has been a part of broadcasting hockey for over 30 years. Most of my memories and favorite hockey moments have some sort of Barry Melrose flash.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and will no longer be a part of the ESPN/NHL broadcasting family. I wish Barry Melrose the very best in his fight. You got this Barry!
Fear the deep!