Pluses, minuses for Flyers-Panthers, Blues-Kraken

NHL Network and ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes will be offering his ideas for giant video games each and every week during the season.

The Philadelphia Flyers (3-0-0) are off to a pleasant get started and discuss with the Florida Panthers (2-1-0) at FLA Live Arena on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS). Then the St. Louis Blues (1-0-0) discuss with the Seattle Kraken (1-2-1) at Climate Pledge Arena (10 p.m. ET; TNT, TVAS).

Here’s my breakdown of the video games.


Flyers at Panthers


Pluses: They’ve received their first 3 video games this season outscoring fighters 11-6, together with a 3-2 win towards the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Travis Konecny has 3 objectives in 3 video games, and Morgan Frost and Scott Laughton have two apiece. You can see they’re enjoying like a John Tortorella-led workforce, and they have got locked in down defensively permitting two objectives in keeping with sport. Philadelphia received 3 immediately video games as soon as ultimate season.

Minuses: The Flyers have numerous younger avid gamers, so we want extra of a pattern measurement to peer how this performs out over the season, however they have got been excellent to this point. They’ve additionally needed to come again in each and every in their 3 wins, which is good, however you do not need to all the time be chasing the sport. The Lightning had a 2-0 lead halfway in the course of the sport Tuesday earlier than the Flyers scored 3 immediately objectives.

Video: VAN@PHI: Konecny whips in go-ahead purpose


Pluses: The addition of Matthew Tkachuk has paid speedy dividends. He has talent, depth and will do all of it. Tkachuk has 4 issues (two objectives, two assists) and a team-high 8 penalty mins in 3 video games. The Panthers have Stanley Cup aspirations after profitable the Presidents’ Trophy ultimate season. They introduced in Paul Maurice as trainer and appear to have all of the items for some other run this season.

Minuses: We know they may be able to ranking however they must be a extra entire workforce. The protection and goaltending allow them to down ultimate season. They cannot simply be the “Comeback Cats and they learned that in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Losing Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar and Mason Marchment in the offseason hurts, as does a lower-body injury to defenseman Aaron Ekblad, one of their best players. Ekblad was placed on long term injured reserve Wednesday after leaving in the second period of a 5-3 loss at the Boston Bruins on Monday.

Video: FLA@BUF: Tkachuk cleans up down low for goal 


Blues at Kraken


Pluses: Not trading Vladimir Tarasenko was the best move they never made. He’s been great. He scored two goals in their first game this season after having an NHL career-high 82 points in 75 games last season. Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas each got a nice contract and are going to be two key players for years to come. Jordan Binnington is again the clear No. 1 goalie after Ville Husso was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. I think Binnington can play like he did during the playoffs last season (4-1-0, 1.72 goals-against average, .949 save percentage) after a subpar regular season (18-14-4, 3.13 GAA, .901 save percentage).

Minuses: They’ve played one game, fewest in the NHL, so it’s hard to pinpoint too many negatives from a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 15, but we do know playing in the Central Division is going to be tough. Last season, five teams from the division made the playoffs.

Video: CBJ@STL: Tarasenko beats Merzlikins to extend lead


Pluses: Free agent acquisition Andre Burakovsky is off to a nice start with five points (two goals, three assists) in four games. Matty Beniers, who had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 10 games last season, has picked up where he left off with a goal and three assists in four games. It’s early, but he looks like he’s going to be a top-flight center for the next decade plus. It may be a small sample size, but the Kraken must feel good about starting 6-for-18 (33.3 percent) on the power play.

Minuses: They’ve lost three of their first four games and have allowed five goals in each of the three losses. They’re in a tough stretch with five straight against playoff teams from last season, and their next two are against the Blues and at the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. After finishing last season 31st on the penalty kill (74.9 percent), Seattle isn’t off to a great start, going 58.8 percent (10-for-17). Lastly, it’s been a bit confusing with how the Kraken have used Shane Wright, the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. He’s played two games, averaging 6:32 of ice time, and been scratched two games. He should either be playing every day, and more than six minutes in the NHL, or should develop in junior hockey.

Video: SEA@ANA: Burakovsky ratings PPG in 2d duration

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