First week of the 2021 NHL season


First week of the 2021 NHL season 

By Ellie Bednarz 

        The NHL regular season is officially here and underway. On Tuesday, October 12, the puck dropped in Las Vegas. Fans could not be more excited to be back in person and see all the teams start their 82-game season.

        In Las Vegas one of the highly anticipated games kicked off. The game that featured the two newest franchises, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the Seattle Kraken. The Knights won 4-3 but here are some quick stats from the game.

        The Kraken had 31 shots on goal, 0/3 on power play, 33 hits, 11 blocks, eight penalty infraction minutes, 48% in faceoffs, and seven giveaways. On the other hand, the Golden Knights had 30 shots on goal, 0/3 on power play, 26 hits, 19 blocks, eight penalty infraction minutes, 52% in faceoffs, and six giveaways.

        Right off the bat with 3:10 off the clock C Chandler Stephenson and RW Mark Stone co-assisted to LW Max Pacioretty for the goal. No more than three minutes later the Golden Knights scored again with RW Reilly Smith and C William Karlsson co-assisting to C Jonathan Marchessault. 2-0 Vegas going into the second period.

       6:43 into the second period Kraken C Ryan Donato made a costly mistake at center ice with Knights D Brayden McNabb stealing the puck and passing to D Nicholas Hague who passed to RW Mark Stone, eventually setting up the deflected shot to LW Max Pacioretty for his second goal of the night. A few minutes later the Kraken got on the board for the first time with D Vince Dunn passing to RW Joonas Donskoi setting up a backhand to C Ryan Donato. 3-1

            Golden Knights. With 7:16 left in the second period, the Kraken were playing a faster offense to try and get back in the game. C Jaden Swartz and RW Jordan Eberle went stride for stride up the ice to successfully assist a wrist shot to LW Jared McCann. 3-2 Golden Knights.

            Third period started and both teams continued to rack up takeaways and winning faceoffs, but with 12:02 left, a costly mistake by Golden Knight C Jonathan Marchessault at center ice placed the puck right in front of Kraken C Morgan Geekie for the easy goal. The Kraken crawled back to make it 3-3. Less than a minute later a blocked pass at center ice led to a chase down but RW Mark Stone had his third assist of the night to C Chandler Stephenson for the goal. 4-3 Golden Knights. And that would eventually be the final score from T-Mobile Arena.

            Some takeaways from this game is that both have potential to make the playoffs. Yes, it is the very first game of the season, but both teams showed multiple positives. When it comes to Vegas, it seems that they’re playing consistently. Although they were devastated in the Semi-Finals, they’re continuing to gain ground and play all around good hockey. For the Kraken, although they lost, there was still positives. Some positives include being able to keep the Golden Knights from scoring on their power plays. They also consistently took shots at the goal The costly steals were what put the game away. The Kraken needed to play better defense, or they would’ve been closer to a win. They did have a good fight in them, especially being down two goals.

            These are going to be two teams to continue to watch. Many people would be lucky to have any Kraken or Golden Knights players on their fantasy team. The season may be long, but this first week was definitely exciting to watch.