It may seem like more than just three months ago, but the Nashville Predators opened up the 2021-22 season on the wrong note by being the first defeat by the Seattle Kraken in their history.
Not a title you want to hold if you’re the Nashville Predators, but it’s fair to say that since then these two teams have gone in different directions. The Predators are right on the doorstep of first place in a crowded Central Division race, while the Kraken have gone down a similar path that most expansion teams go down.
With that said, the Kraken aren’t a team to just push to the side and not worry about. I mean,after all, the Predators did lose to horrendous teams like the Canadiens and Sabres already this season, and the Kraken are considerably better than those two.
This will be the first time the Predators play in the Kraken’s state of the art arena, Climate Pledge Arena. The Kraken have faired slightly better at home this season with a 9-13-2 record, while going 4-11-2 on the road.
The tale of the tape
In the first meeting on October 14, the Predators struck first with a goal from Eeli Tolvanen, but the Kraken took advantage of mistakes that led to penalties and added two power play goals.
Here’s the opening goal by the Predators of 2021-22 via Tolvanen, courtesy of
would tie the score at 2-2 with a power play goal of his own, but the Kraken answered back to eventually take the 4-3 victory. It was mostly a defensive struggle, with only 56 shos on goal from the two teams combined.
Despite their record, the Kraken have some players who can burn you if you lose them defensively, with Yanni Gourde being one that stands out. He has 21 points and nine goals in 33 games this season.
They’ve struggled in the goaltending department despite having two quality goaltenders in Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger. Going into the season this seemed like it was going to be their strong point, but both goaltenders have sub-90 save percentages and are giving up three-plus goals per game.
The Kraken are also 20th or worse in most of your major statistical categories like power play, penalty kill, and scoring.
We’re likely going to see a matchup tonight where defense should rule the day for the Predators. They’re going up against a Kraken team that struggles to score goals, while also giving up the most goal per game in the NHL aside from the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens.
On paper this has all the makings of a game the Nashville Predators should win fairly easy, but we know hockey rarely works out that way. You have to bring your best regardless of the opponent.
However, an area that can tilt the favor back towards the Kraken tonight is careless giveaways by the Predators in their own zone. Even in the win over Detroit on Saturday, the Predators had 17 giveaways. Luckily the Red Wings didn’t really make them pay for the carelessness with the puck.
Clean up the passing and zone exits, feast on the power play and dictate the pace and the Nashville Predators just get a taste of revenge against a Kraken team that just doesn’t have the offensive weapons to hang on the scoreboard.
The Nashville Predators have remained consistent
We were starting to get a little worried when the Nashville Predators losing streak hit four games just a week ago after a uninspiring 3-1 loss to the Vancouers Canucks. The offense wasn’t clicking, and the goaltending was suffering.
After a big response in a dominant 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, the Predators are back to their winning ways without falling too far back in the standings.
That was the first losing streak of over two for the entire first half of the season. Losses are going to happen, but it’s crucial to avoid the long losing slumps. The Predators, for the most part, have done a commendable job this season at responding with wins after a bad performance.
This is a game tonight that you need to show up focused and take care of business. Comparing the rosters side-by-side, you should be able to add another win as you have to keep pace with the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche in the top-three of the division.
Filip Forsberg is continuing his rapid goal scoring pace as he’s now at 20 goals in only 30 games. Just insanse efficiency that has him among elite company this season among goal scorers.
Juuse Saros is second in the NHL in wins with 22, and is back on track after his last two starts against Winnipeg and Detroit. Expect him to get another start as the coaching staff has made it clear they’re going to rely on him heavily unless it’s a back-to-back situation.
I’ll go with another fairly low-scoring, defensive struggle of a game much like what we saw on Saturday against the Red Wings. Simply put, the Predators don’t always win in glamorous fashion, but they figure out a way to get the two points.
My modest prediction is a 3-1 Nashville Predators win thanks to another strong showing in net from Saros, and the Predators controlling the action on special teams with a power play goal and effective penalty kill.
Puck drop is scheduled for 9 P.M. CT from Seattle. Should be an entertaining matchup as the Predators play their first ever game in Seattle.