NHL 2021-22 Pacific Division preview: Seattle Kraken to choose identity in inaugural season

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The NHL 2021-22 season kicks off on Tuesday with a full 82-game schedule set to run until April 29. This year 32 teams, with the addition of the Seattle Kraken, will battle it out with the hopes of hoisting the coveted Stanley Cup in what will be the first regular-season since the pandemic struck mid-season in March 2020.
The NHL 2021-22 season kicks off on Tuesday with a full 82-game schedule set to run until April 29. This year 32 teams, with the addition of the Seattle Kraken , will battle it out with the hopes of hoisting the coveted Stanley Cup in what will be the first regular-season since the pandemic struck mid-season in March 2020.

The league is split into two conferences: the Eastern and Western Conferences and returns to its original four divisions: the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific, with eight teams in each.

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Read below for a breakdown of the Pacific Division.

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Largely considered the weakest division in the league, the Pacific also houses one of the best teams in the NHL: the Golden Knights.

Since its inception in 2017, Vegas has made the playoffs every season, even reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. Last season, the Knights finished second in their division with a 40-14-2 record. Part of what's made this possible is Vegas' "go big or go home" mentality.

Vegas will be missing a big piece of their Stanley Cup puzzle with the trading of Marc-Andre Fleury. Robin Lehner, who was acquired in a trade with the Maple Leafs , is taking over and even though he helped Vegas reach the conference final in 2020, Fleury's shoes will be hard to fill.

The Knights have also attempted to solve their power play issues in the offseason with the additions of Evgenii Dadonov and Nolan Patrick.

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And then there were 32.

The biggest challenge for the Kraken this season will be canceling out the noise. Questions about unity and chemistry will of course be the main concerns but Seattle will also have the pressure of living up to the history set by division-rival Vegas: four seasons, four playoff appearances.

Seattle chose their star players from the goal up. Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer will be in the net after leaving the Avalanche following a solid year. He went 30-9-1 with a…
Paulina Dedaj
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