The Seattle Kraken (3-5-2) are back home to face the Nashville Predators (4-5-0). These two teams faced each other way back during the first week of the season. The Kraken, who were favored to win, were shut out 3-0 by the Predators in Nashville. A game where literally nothing went right for Seattle, extended the Kraken’s poor start and increased their mounting frustration.
Tomorrow night, the Kraken will be at home and are coming off of a fairly successful road trip, highlighted by an overtime win in Tampa Bay, and goalie Philip Grubauer possibly reclaiming his starting role with the team. With so many things not going their way, the Kraken seemed to be rolling with the hot hand in the net. When you are struggling to get much going you look for any sort of positives and you stick with those. Grubauer has been good this season and him getting the win in the last game validates his stellar play.
Seattle looks to continue their improved play and gain 2 very important points in the standings. Let’s take a look at the 3 Keys to Victory for Seattle Kraken vs Nashville Predators.
Kraken goalie Philip Grubauer needs to play like he’s number 1
Seattle Kraken goalie Philip Grubauer needs to play like he is the number 1 guy, if the Kraken are going to win against the Preds. I can’t imagine playing with total focus in an NHL game, while looking over your shoulder and worrying that any error or mistake could lead to the team going with the other guy. The team may say that this is not happening but let’s be clear on one thing; Joey Daccord has gotten the bulk of the starts, but Grubauer has been named the team’s starting goalie.
The Kraken kept Daccord in net because the team won some of the games he started. The goalie does not score goals, and Gru has once again (see last season) gotten very little goal support from his team. He is a better goalie than Daccord. Against Nashville Grubauer needs to just focus on the game and do what he does best.
Nashville has fallen back to Earth and is sub .500. Their best (or most expensive) forward Filip Forsberg at times is elite, but is very pedestrian. Grubauer needs to shut down the Predator attack and not give up any cheap goals. If he is solid, the Kraken will win.
Seattle’s defense needs to make Filip Forsberg a nonfactor
As mentioned, Filip Forsberg is the best offensive player on the Predators. The Seattle defensemen as well as players like Jaden Schwartz and Eeli Tolvanen, need to make things difficult for Forsberg. They need to blanket him, cut off his passing lanes, shut off his shooting lanes, and keep him outside to take away his quality scoring chances.
Like I said, Forsberg has been at times an elite player in the NHL, and he has the ability to turn it on any night of the week. If the Kraken are going to make sure that tomorrow night is not the night, then it is going to take a team effort to minimize his contributions to the Nashville offense.
If the Kraken can limit Forsberg’s involvement and keep him off of the score sheet, the Kraken will win this one.
Kraken forwards Oliver Bjorkstrand and Jaden Schwartz need to stay hot
The secret is out! Oliver Bjorkstrand is back to the player he was signed to be, and Jaden Schwartz is off to a career year. These two guys have been surprisingly the two best offensive players on the Seattle Kraken. While Matty Beniers is experiencing growing pains as he finds a way out of his sophomore slump, and Jordan Eberle is making a case to not be re-signed in the offseason, Bjorkstrand and Schwartz have put the team on their backs and led the way.
Schwartz must have a rash from saddle burn because he has done it all for the Kraken this season. The dude deserves to be captain. Plain and simple. The team is riding him like Zorro, and he has shown zero signs of slowing down.
Bjorkstrand has completely flown under the radar and opposing teams are finding out that they need to game plan for him, and quickly. He is making goalies pay. I predict if both Bjorkstrand and Schwartz score tomorrow night, the Kraken will get the dub.
Brandon Tanev- IR(OUT)- Lower Body injury
André Burakovsky- OUT Upper Body injury
The Kraken have the advantage tomorrow night, playing in front of their home fans. The building should be rocking as the fans are eager to see the team on home ice again. Expect a sold out crowd as well, tomorrow night is a stadium give away night. Tomorrow night is announcer John Forslund Talking Bobblehead.
Here is the list of giveaway nights.
Expect a fast paced rematch from Game 2. The puck drops at 7:00 PM PDT at Climate Pledge Arena, on ROOT-NW. Let’s go Kraken!
Fear the deep!