Call it the Expansion Cup as the NHL’s newest teams meet on Tuesday when the Seattle Kraken makes its regular season debut against Vegas Golden Knights, beginning its fifth season.
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
The game (10 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on ESPN, but if you don’t have cable, anyone in the US can also watch the Kraken vs Golden Knights live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ will have about 75 exclusive national NHL games (no blackouts for in-market viewers) this season. It also includes every out-of-market, non-nationally televised game (about 1,000 games in total), plus dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary in existence and additional original content (both video and written) all for $6.99 for a month or $69.99 for a year (or about seven cents per NHL game if you want to look at it that way). It’s a clear must-have option for NHL fans in the United States.
If you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch the Kraken vs Golden Knights live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Kraken vs Golden Knights Preview
Many Golden Knights players know from five years ago what it’s like to be in the Kraken’s skates on Tuesday night. The recent Stanley Cup semifinalists won’t overlook the expansion Kraken.
“Yeah, we definitely have a little bit extra insight on that,” Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith said according to NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika. “They’re definitely a real team. They have a pretty good roster, and I’m sure they’re going to be as hungry as any other team in the League. … We’re going to have to be sharp. There’s no doubt about that. We won’t be sitting back at all.”
Seattle won’t settle for expansion results this season, either. The Kraken will be hard pressed to match the Golden Knights’ inaugural year run to the Stanley Cup Finals, but making the playoffs is definitely on the radar.
“We’re competing to be a playoff team,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol told the NHL Network via CBS Sports. “That’s the first goal on our list. It’s a tough task to be a playoff team in the National Hockey League. That’s where our focus is at as we start Game 1.”
Adding star goalie Philipp Grubauer in free agency increases the Kraken’s chances at a postseason run. The Veniza Trophy finalist had a .922 save percentage with the Colorado Avalanche last season.
Seattle also has a solid crew of defensemen in Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, Mark Giordano, and Vince Dunn. Offense will be the big question mark for the Kraken.
Vegas will make it tough for the Kraken to score — even with star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury gone to Chicago. Knights goalie Robin Lehner has shown potential with a .913 save percentage last season.
The Knights also have a stingy defense led by defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore. Both can produce offense, too. Pietrangelo had 23 points and Theodore had 42 last season.
Seattle will need to slow down Vegas’ top forwards in Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. Both scored 20-plus goals last season. Newcomers such as right wing Evgenii Dadonov and center Nolan Patrick are anticipated to make a splash on offense, too.
The Kraken will have five players unavailable for the game because of COVID-19 protocols according to the Associated Press via FOX 5 KVVU-TV. That includes Oleksiak and forwards Marcus Johansson, Joonas Donskoi, and Jared McCann.
Vegas won’t have forward Mattias Janmark because of COVID-19 protocols according to CBS Sports. The Knights also won’t have centers Brett Howden and Nicolas Roy because of injury and forward William Carrier due to a concussion per CBS Sports.