Game Preview: Nashville Predators @ Seattle Kraken 3/2/22
Back on the road.
The Nashville Predators are back on the road after a disappointing loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stadium Series game at home. They'll get a chance to redeem themselves against the Seattle Kraken tonight, while the Kraken are looking to get back on their feet after a rough February.
The Kraken have lost seven straight. Jared McCann, their scoring leader (with 21 goals and 33 points), is on IR, though he is eligible to return now. Jordan Eberle is just behind McCann in both categories, with 16 goals and 31 points, while Yanni Gourde’s 29 points are third on the team and Alex Wennberg’s 19 assists set the high-water mark there. Calle Jarnkrok is one of five ten-goal players for the struggling Kraken.
On the blueline, Mark Giordano is still racking up the points as well—as much as there are points to be racked up, anyway; the Kraken have struggled to score. Their offense is pretty stagnant—one of the least threatening in the league at 5v5—and they’ve had poor shooting luck as well.
They actually play pretty good defense, but awful goaltending from the very talented Philipp Grubauer (season sv% of .888) and lack of a backup they can give a midseason promotion to (Chris Driedger’s sv% is .893) have sunk them in their own end as well. It’s honestly startling to me how bad a season Grubauer is having; it’s not only the worst of his career, if you look at how he’s doing relative to the shots he’s facing, it’s the first time he’s ever been a below-average goalie over more than one game.
Unsurprisingly, with poor shooting luck and unreliable goaltending, the Kraken haven’t done well on special teams either. They don’t draw or take many penalties, but the Preds do, so we should expect to see some non-5v5 time this game.
How to Watch
Going to be a late one here, folks, as the game starts at 9 PM Central. It will air on TNT, or you can listen to the radio call on 102.5 The Game.
Statistics from naturalstattrick.org. Additional background from hockeyviz.com.