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Game Preview: Nashville Predators @ Seattle Kraken 11/2/23

Oct 12, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) skates the puck into the offensive zone during the third period against the Seattle Kraken at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, the Preds have a chance to redeem themselves against the Seattle Kraken tonight. It’s going to be another late one.

The Nashville Predators

Filip Forsberg remains snakebitten. His 36 shots so far this season are worth a team-leading 3.75 individual expected goals on the season (per Natural Stat Trick), and yet he’s only scored on one of them. He hasn’t lost his touch; he’s got seven assists, including four primary assists, which certainly isn’t bad for a nine-game stretch. At some point, the goals are going to come too.

Juuse Saros is performing better than average, given the quality of the shots he’s facing–at least at even strength. Kevin Lankinen, meanwhile, didn’t have the best outing in his one start. The penalty kill is what’s killing the Preds, and Saros: Nashville is barely managing to kill two out of every three penalties, and they haven’t managed to avoid getting called often enough to make that a viable strategy. At 5v5, they’ve been playing a very good defensive game–among the best in the league, depending on how you measure it–but they’re not able to outscore, or even outchance, their shorthanded woes.

I’m glad to see the defense looking better than it has in some recent years, but I’d love to see the team add a little more offense to the mix as well. Barry Trotz wanted exciting hockey, and I think this version of the Preds might be able to deliver.

The Seattle Kraken

Much like the Preds, the Kraken have had a disappointing start to the season. Jared McCann is their goals leader with five. There’s a three-way tie for points leader at eight between Jaden Schwartz, Oliver Björkstrand, and Vince Dunn; Dunn is the assists leader, with seven.

Joey Daccord and Philipp Grubauer have both been in net, with Daccord turning in a pretty good performance at even strength. Grubauer has had a rougher season. Much like the Preds, the Kraken have turned in an effective power play and an ineffective penalty kill, though both have been a little more effective than Nashville’s.

Seattle doesn’t have anyone as obviously snakebitten as Forsberg, though Jordan Eberle is probably due again. For better or for worse, this feels like a fairly even matchup. Four of the Kraken’s games so far–including two of their three wins–have gone past regulation, so we might have an even later night than usual. Here’s hoping we don’t.

How to Watch

The game starts at (sigh) 9PM Central on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.