After tonight, perhaps it’ll start to feel like a routine.
The Seattle Kraken make its Climate Pledge Arena debut tonight, facing the cross-border rival Vancouver Canucks (at least, the league would like that to be the case) in its first-ever home game.
The Kraken has never had a true home game; even before the five-game road trip to begin the season, all the preseason games were on the road or played at junior arenas throughout the state.
Saturday included a lot of adjusting; to the ice, to the bounces off the boards, to where the players and coaches are supposed to go. When they play at home again on Tuesday, that’ll become second nature.
It’ll also be the first time they experience that feeling. But, first, another first.
“I can’t imagine this getting old,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol following morning skate. “When I came in this morning, the curtains were drawn out in the rink and I poked my head out just to take a look. The building has an unbelievable feel.”
Saturday morning was the first time any Kraken players had skated on the Climate Pledge ice sheet, after a Coldplay concert on Friday night had the ice under wraps while they took their first look at the facilities yesterday.
The team will continue to skate at the arena the next couple of days to get used to their new home as well.
There were Kraken home crowds in the preseason, in Everett and Kent and Spokane, but this is truly the first time the players will play for a Seattle crowd.
“Watching my first (Seahawks) game, that was life changing for me, I didn’t really think a building could be that loud,” said Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn. “I’m sure a lot of those fans, or different people with a more hockey focus, are going to be coming in here tonight to do the same thing, so our expectations are high but I’m sure they’ll be blown out of the roof.”
Projected Kraken lines
Jaden Schwartz — Yanni Gourde — Calle Jarnkrok
Jared McCann — Alexander Wennberg — Jordan Eberle
Brandon Tanev — Morgan Geekie — Joonas Donskoi
Nathan Bastian — Riley Sheahan — Mason Appleton
Mark Giordano — Jamie Oleksiak
Carson Soucy — Vine Dunn
Jeremy Lauzon — Adam Larsson
- Jarnkrok makes his season debut after missing the entire five-game road trip while on the COVID-19 list.
- Philipp Grubauer will get the start in net after Joey Daccord started in New Jersey on Tuesday.
About the Canucks
This season: 2-2-1 (last game: 4-1 win over Chicago)
Player to watch: Quinn Hughes
Notes: The Canucks 16 goals allowed ranks 24th in the league … Goalie Thatcher Demko will start on Saturday night … The Canucks played Chicago two nights ago, and three Blackhawks players entered COVID-19 protocol on Saturday morning … Head coach Travis Green said after morning skate they didn’t have a specific different protocol following that.
Miller — Pettersson — Boeser
Pearson — Horvat — Garland
Highmore — Dickinson — Höglander
Dowling — Lammikko — Chiasson
Ekman-Larsson — Myers
Hughes — Poolman
Rathbone — Burroughs
Hunt — Schenn