Save it for the record books:
The night of October 14, 2021 will forever be known as a milestone night in Seattle and NHL history.
How appropriate: Nashville, Tennessee, Music City, the country music capital, the home of “Smashville” – where the Kraken delivered their own tune, maybe sung in their heads, to the bars often used for a Predators goal song made famous by Tim McGraw:
“I like, I love it, I want some more of it.”
Take the Philipp Grubauer third period work of art, two power play goals, and a pair of timely goals by Brandon Tanev, and there will be more of it.
Notes: (by the numbers version):
- 17,159: Fans in attendance at Bridgestone Arena, who have turned the place into a tough one to play. The Kraken were able to weather their noise and an early goal by Eeli Tolvanen, who got the place jumping on the Predators first shot of the game
- 49: Combined minutes that the defensive pairing of Jamie Oleksiak and Adam Larsson were on the ice. They handled the heavy lifting, defensively. Larsson had four blocked shots, while Oleksiak had three hits
- 23: Face-offs taken by Alex Wennberg, who won 12 of them (better than 50% at the face-off dot)
- 13: Shots by the Predators in the final period, all but one stopped by Philipp Grubauer – he survived a flurry of Nashville shots with less than four minutes left in regulation
- 12: The number worn by Alex Barré-Boulet, who dished an exquisite assist to Alex Wennberg’s goal to put the Kraken up 3-2. Wennberg was left wide open at the right goal post, finishing a pass that Barré-Boulet threaded through the Nashville defense.
- 7: Points in the last seven games for Joonas Donskoi against the Predators, adding to that total tonight with an assist
- 5: Minutes for fighting – Vince Dunn dropped the mitts with Yakov Trenin (famous for a KO on big Zdeno Chara), ushering the turning point of the game with back-to-back goals – the Kraken never trailed after that point
- 2: Power play goals on two power play opportunities (an opportune special teams unit took advantage of Nashville penalties, including an extra roughing minor from the Trenin fight with Dunn)
- 1: Shot in the third period … it was the only one the Kraken needed (game winning empty netter by Tanev, his second goal of the game)
Did you know? Brandon Tanev, also known as “turbo,” joined us for post-game and had to take off quickly for a pretty important meeting in the dressing room (see below). A hat from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” may be in the works, too.
FROM THE PODIUM:
Head Coach Dave Hakstol if the win feels different than any other win:
“Absolutely it does. I think you saw some of that stress in us, in our play in the third period. Yet, guys were calm, guys were pretty focused, and guys were excited to get the first win especially it being our first win in franchise history. That’s a big deal for everybody.”
Hakstol on managing the third period and players emotions:
“Players on the bench manage it very well. When you have a captain like (Mark Giordano), he’s as calm as can be. At times there’s things want to better and do a little differently in that period. One thing we didn’t do was give up a whole lot. We spent too much time in our own zone and we didn’t have the puck a lot, but sometimes the stress of the moment plays into things. Yet, there was none of that chaos on our bench. Guys were calm, talking, and doing the right things. Guys kept things to the outside and got the job done.”
Hakstol on the debut of Alex Barré-Boulet and his assist on Wennberg’s goal:
“Well he made key play in the game. It was a hell of a play to find (Alex Wennberg) on the backdoor the way he did. He was rock solid. We didn’t use him a whole lot in the third period - when you start to think defensive systems and spots, and things like that, his ice time went down a little bit in the third. But he was effective, (had) good energy, and he made one of the game changing plays of the game.”
Hakstol on the play of Brandon Tanev, with two goals:
“That and energy and emotion he brings to our team -not only on the ice but on the bench – those things extremely important. End of the power play, he scores a big goal off a faceoff, and is able to finish it with the empty netter.”
Hakstol on the turning points of the game:
"There were different points of this game, getting down by one - I thought (Vince Dunn) gets into a great scrap - big hit, great scrap, and that ends up turning the game for us. Our power play did a great job in that sense. We earned that power play, the power play's there, and our power play did a great job pushing us in the right direction."
Jared McCann on the chemistry of his linemates, Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle:
“’Schwartzy’ and ‘Ebs’ are two easy players to play with. They make my job a lot easier in the D-zone and that’s where we create offense, from D-zone coverage. I personally have to clean some things up down low, be quicker on pucks, but those guys make my job easier for sure.”
McCann on the power play’s progress:
“Good plays. (Assistant coach Paul) MacFarland’s been great for us. He’s got a great offensive mind coming from Toronto with guys like (Maple Leafs forward Auston) Matthews and guys there. He’s been giving us plays and they’ve been working. So, he gets a lot of credit there.”
Alex Wennberg on getting the first win in franchise history:
“Obviously it’s a little bit different, not what we expected, but that’s you just have to play. We did the job today. We wanted this win, at the end wasn’t pretty, but we did whatever it took.”
Wennberg on Tanev’s performance:
“Today – scoring two big goals. And there’s a lot of more things he’s doing. He’s skating, forechecking and that’s everyone on the ice. Everyone who comes on this team takes their role and makes the best out of it. It’s a really good group we have, on and off the ice, and it’s great to see everyone stepping up their game.”