The Seattle Kraken earned their first win in franchise history, a 4-3 victory at the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, and now have a new leading scorer. Brandon Tanev, who became an instant fan favourite at the 2021 Expansion Draft, is proving why he belongs on the back of Kraken jerseys everywhere. With two goals against the Predators, including the first game-winning goal in franchise history and a game-leading four hits, he is just warming up for what could be a huge season ahead for the 29-year-old power left wing.
Tanev Gives the Kraken Their First Lead in Franchise History
Tanev’s first goal in a Kraken uniform was a beauty. After a nice passing sequence, the puck was moved down low to Alexander Wennberg, who redirected the it out front to a perfectly-placed Tanev to fire home the go-ahead power-play goal late in the first period. If that wasn’t enough to hype Kraken fans up, he even blew a kiss to the enemy fans right afterward.
After playing 18 shifts on Tuesday in a 4-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, Hakstol increased Tanev’s load by an extra 10 shifts (28 in total) against the Predators. In fact, he had the sixth-most minutes (14:33) on Thursday among all Kraken forwards in the game. He is quickly gaining the trust of his teammates and coaching staff, and proving he can come in clutch for Seattle. It is easy to see why with how much effort he puts in to each and every shift, finishing every hit and consistently positioning himself well to receive the puck.
Tanev Fires Home an Empty-Netter for the Game-Winning Goal
Although it wasn’t as flashy as his earlier goal, Tanev potted what would become the crucial game-winning goal with Predators goaltender Juuse Saros pulled late in the third period. Mason Appleton entered the Nashville zone and fired the puck on net after crossing the blue line, missing just wide to the right. The puck went around the back of the net, where it popped out to Jared McCann unprotected behind the goal line. The moment he touched the puck, he dished it out front to Tanev, who was waiting patiently in front of the net while three Predators chased him down. A simple tap in, and Tanev made history.
Tanev’s goal put the Kraken up 4-2, but Nashville responded with a goal of their own in the final minute, bringing the score to 4-3. Despite the Predators’ dire efforts, the Kraken shut them down and kept them from scoring another goal to tie the game. With that, Seattle got their first game-winning goal in franchise history from a well-deserved Tanev empty-netter.
Just two games into the season, it is clear to see why Tanev belongs in a Kraken jersey. He almost perfectly resembles the never-quit, hard forechecking identity that Seattle is trying to establish, and will likely only continue to improve his game from here. He’s made an incredible first impression on fans, teammates and coaching staff alike.
The Kraken are next scheduled to play at the Columbus Blue Jackets, with the puck dropping at 4 p.m. PT on Friday. After that, they’ll play two more games on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils before heading to Seattle for their home-opener against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 23. Surely, Tanev will want to make some noise at Climate Pledge Arena, and with another three games to prepare for the big showdown, keep an eye on him to continue finding the back of the net and laying the body as he continues to prove his value to the NHL’s 32nd franchise.
Tom Pepper is a diehard Buffalo Sabres and Seattle Kraken fan writing news and rumors columns at The Hockey Writers since June 2020.