Vince Dunn remembers the night of October 23, 2021.
The Seattle Kraken didn’t win that night but made good on the part of a home opening script that electrified a sold-out crowd and generated the imagination of the future for big league, NHL hockey in the Puget Sound. Dunn scored the first goal at Climate Pledge Arena history, so loud in the first period that the goal horn was barely audible.
He knows what’s in store, this time around when the Kraken open their home schedule against the Vegas Golden Knights at 7pm PT (950 AM KJR / Kraken Audio Network).
“We’re happy to be back,” said Dunn. “The guys who weren’t last year here were really excited to find out what it’s like tonight.”
“The atmosphere the arena creates is something we want to use to our advantage.”
New forward Oliver Bjorkstrand has been used to playing in front of energy, combined with fans and a cannon. That was Columbus. This is Seattle.
“Expecting it to be loud, I’ve heard good things,” said Bjorkstrand.
“Pretty pumped about tonight.”
Should the Kraken take advantage of their home ice advantage, noted by many players and coaches across the league for sound volume, they have the door open to take two wins in the first three games, an obvious benchmark of improvement versus last year’s expansion season which included just one win in the first six games.
Martin Jones will start in net for the second straight game after beating his former team, 4-1 in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“We’ve had two goaltenders who’ve had good camps and have had competitive camps,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’ve got a lot of hockey to play over the first month of the season.”
“He earned the opportunity to be back in tonight.”
Jones is looking for his 200th career NHL victory. Jaden Schwartz did not skate this morning – a maintenance day per Hakstol, who also said is available to play tonight. It clears the way for a new benchmark of his own – his 600th career NHL game.
Daniel Sprong – who has cleared immigration – skated this morning while taking the place on Schwartz’s line from Thursday. He took turns on the left wing with Alex Wennberg at center, and Bjorkstrand on the right wing.
Vegas comes off a 2-0 record built from a shutout win over the Blackhawks on Thursday, secured by Logan Thompson’s 27 stops. Adin Hill, Bjorkstrand’s former teammate in their WHL careers with the Portland Winterhawks, is the likely starter in net and set to make his Golden Knights debut.
PROJECTED KRAKEN LINEUP