clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kraken commit regicide; get first win of the year

A new rival appears?

Seattle Kraken v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Victorious in Los Angeles! The Seattle Kraken earned their first win of the season against a Pacific division foe, and now travel home to Seattle with a plus record of 1-0-1. It’s the first time in team history they’ve had more wins than (regulation) losses — how about that!

This one was a scrappy tilt between two teams with no history with each other to speak of. The Kraken for the second straight game found a way to notch four goals, and this time it was more than enough to beat the Kings in their home rink. Here are the facts:

LA moves past Vancouver & Vegas on the rivalry scale

Seattle wasn’t competitive enough last season to really establish any solid rivalry. Vancouver was what everyone expected, and this writer personally thought Vegas a prime target. But rivalries blossom naturally, you can’t pick them — they happen after physical games with a memorable tussle thrown in there somewhere. And whoa boy did this check those boxes.

Ryan Donato mixed it up after the final horn sounded, along with Carson Soucy and Will Borgen. These Kraken are not afraid to throw hands when called upon. This all came shortly after Brendan Lemieux got a little too upset about losing and took it out on the back of Yanni Gourde’s head (Yanni took it in good spirits and smiled through the ordeal, as he is wont to do). Lemieux was also involved in a dust-up with Jamie Oleksiak earlier in the game, dropping like a sack of potatoes at a shot from the Big Rig. We’re early, but I’m officially putting the LA Kings on Rivalry Watch.

The Martin Jones revival tour begins

Martin Jones has not posted a season-long save percentage above .900 since 2017-18. He’s considered to be by the general NHL fan as A Goaltender, and not much more. But he looked really good in his first start as a Kraken! It’s a continuation of what we saw in preseason, when it took more than 60 minutes of ice time for him to allow his first goal. Jones allowed only one goal on 28 shots and saved 1.6 goals above expectation, according to Natural Stat Trick. There weren’t any big highlight-reel saves, but that was mostly due to the fact that he was in great position for seemingly every LA shot attempt. It’s a nice beginning to his Kraken career.

Turbo is BACK

Brandon Tanev earned every bit of his first goal of the season. Tanev went hard on the forecheck, and drove the puck straight from the right corner to the net and threw it over Jonathan Quick’s shoulder for what would eventually be the game-winning goal.

I almost forgot what it was like to have his energy in the lineup last year. Playing alongside Gourde and Jordan Eberle, he’s a huge part of what could be the best third-line in hockey. He was pacing to blow past his career-high of 14 goals last year before his injury, and I for one believe he can absolutely do it this year.

The flotsam and jetsam

  • Shane Wright was a healthy scratch tonight — a sign he might not be with the big club for the duration of the season after all?
  • Will Borgen was very involved in everything in this one. His pinch down the right sideboards set up Tanev’s goal, he sat on Mikey Anderson like a couch cushion at the end of the game, and he laid out Adrian Kempe with a clean open-ice hit in the third.
  • Matty Beniers is casually joining some elite company. All this kid does is produce points.

Next up is the home opener! This Saturday at Climate Pledge Arena, the Kraken will face the Vegas Golden Knights at 7pm Pacific.