Get Excited Kraken fans! The time has come…
Training camp is underway and we see our sick uni’s take the ice, for the first time, tonight during the Kraken’s preseason game tonight at 6:00 pm PST. Here is what to expect and a bit of a preview into the inaugural team’s first season.
It appears Hakstol hasn’t looked back since day 1 of training camp. Since Day 1, he hasn’t changed his mind on the line combinations. As long as the team is buzzing around out there, it’s not worth continuing to experiment. Let them have some time getting comfortable with one another instead of shuffling them everyday, making them establish a new way to play. If the team’s Intersquad scrimmage is any indication of the year, it appears the boys have come with a chip on their shoulder and are ready to prove that they can be a competitive team.
The Kraken already fit in with the rest of the league. They have yet to play a game and are already hit with the injury bug. Throughout training Camp this appears to be the trends in lines Coach Hakstol is rolling with:
Jarnkrok-Appleton-Johansson (The Swede Line;) )
Now, you may look at these lines with some confusion regarding some of the team’s big names not listed above. Remember, Yanni Gourde is currently injured and depending on how well this first line gels in training camp/ at the start of the season expect Gourde at 1C. Alex Wennberg, most likely 2C/3C depending if McCann excels at Center or wants to go back on the wing, has missed some of training camp due to the birth of his new kid. Another surprise to me came at depth, former New York Ranger Colin Blackwell doesn’t appear to be making the opening day roster. The gritty forward would fit swimmingly with Tanev and Sheahan on the fourth line. It could arguably be the hardest working fourth in the league if this was a route Hakstol wanted to take. Comparable to the “identity line”, the NYI 4th line.
I’m looking at three guys to really break out this season for the Kraken. Guys you should keep an eye on are Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Donato, and Morgan Geekie. All three of these players got lost in the shuffle in their respective teams. Or, in Ryan Donato’s case, just got stuck on some really bad teams. I expect all three of these guys to average at least 15 min of toi a game. I also look forward to seeing if Riley Sheahan can get back to his play during the Pittsburgh Penguins cup run in 17-18 where he was a shutdown penalty killer while being able to play against any team’s top lines.
Vegas is in a prime slot to win the division, however those three final spots for the playoffs will be a fun race to watch between 5 teams. The Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, and Calgary Flames will all be dancing around the standings with each other. I could see the standing fluctuating on a nightly basis. It will be fun to watch all these teams battle for 82 games and develop rivalries raring to go come playoff time.
One way or another, I think the Seattle Kraken are primed to have a solid season. Although it’s preseason I look forward to seeing these beauties on the ice tonight for the first time against their new division rivals. I also can’t wait to root for this team with thousands of fans all across the nation! Let’s get Kraken and start the year on the right track.