Sabres Wrap Road Trip in Seattle, For First Time Ever
Buffalo heads to Seattle for the first time in franchise history.
Buffalo Sabres (5-3-1) vs. Seattle Kraken (3-6-1)
Puck Drop: 10:00 PM EST | Climate Pledge Arena | Newark, NJ
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Kraken Blog: Davy Jones Locker Room
Know Your Opponent
Record: (3-6-1) | 7 PTS
Division Ranking: 8th in Pacific
PP: 30th (9.4%)
PK: 7th (87.0%)
1. Welcome to Seattle
For the first time in franchise history, the Buffalo Sabres arrive in Seattle to play a National Hockey League game.
Much like the first time the Sabres played the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas, tonight’s game is being made into quite a big deal for the Sabres and their fans.
Seattle’s brand new Climate Pledge Arena is a modern marvel with how it was built. If you did not know, Seattle opened the former KeyArena back in 1962. The arena was built as part of the Century 21 Exposition.
Fast forward almost 60 years and the Climate Pledge Arena now exists.
The original KeyArena was demolished but the roof was spared. The original roof was lifted while the bones of a brand new arena were built under it. Pretty neat when you think about it.
While this technically falls under the category of a “renovation”, we all know the truth here.
Either way, Seattle has a beautiful new arena with great sightlines for hockey. If you have not watched a Kraken game at Climate Pledge Arena on television yet, you are in for a treat tonight.
2. Hot as a Firecracker
Heading into the 2021-22 National Hockey League season, one player with a chance to prove his worth was Rasmus Asplund.
It was clear that Asplund would be getting a bigger opportunity this season after looking strong in Don Granato’s system toward the end of last season.
Asplund has blossomed this season in the team’s first nine games. With seven points (four goals, three assists) in nine games, Asplund ranks second in goals, tied for third in assists and second in total points.
Furthermore, Asplund has been white-hot as of late, with five points (three goals) in his last five games.
Asplund will look to further his hot start against the Kraken tonight.
3. First Game in the Post-Eichel Era
We would be remiss to overlook the biggest piece of not-only Sabres news but the biggest piece of news in the National Hockey League on Thursday.
The long-winded saga between forward Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres has finally come to a close, with Eichel being traded to the Vegas Golden Knights.
While forwards Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch will be heading to Buffalo along with a few future draft picks, it remains fair to close the book on the Eichel era before the Sabres head into their first game of the Post-Eichel Era.
Since becoming a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Eichel amassed 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 games.
Eichel’s presence in the Sabres lineup certainly be missed but it was clear that a divorce was needed for both parties.
Tonight marks the first game in the Post-Eichel Era. Here’s to bigger and better things for all parties involved.
Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Rasmus Asplund
Drake Caggiula - Dylan Cozens - Vinnie Hinostroza
Zemgus Girgensons - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo
Anders Bjork - Arttu Ruotsalainen - John Hayden
Rasmus Dahlin - Will Butcher
Jacob Bryson - Colin Miller
Robert Hagg - Mark Pysyk
Starter: Dustin Tokarski
Jaden Schwartz - Alexander Wennberg - Joonas Donskoi
Brandon Tanev - Yanni Gourde - Calle Jarnkrok
Ryan Donato - Morgan Geekie - Jordan Eberle
Max McCormick - Riley Sheahan - Nathan Bastian
Mark Giordano - Jamie Oleksiak
Jeremy Lauzon - Adam Larsson
Carson Soucy - Vince Dunn
Starter: Philipp Grubauer