TNT’s Faust: Seattle Kraken ‘have the foundation already’ for title runs

Apr 24, 2023, 12:47 PM | Updated: 4:51 pm

Seattle Kraken Matty Beniers...

Matty Beniers celebrates his Game 3 goal with Seattle Kraken teammates on April 22, 2023. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken may be down 2-1 to the defending champion Colorado Avalanche heading into Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series Monday night, but they’ve been turning heads not just in this series but throughout their second season in the NHL.

Preview: Can Seattle Kraken rebound after falling down 2-1 to Avs?

In fact, it goes back even to the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

“I call the games for the LA Kings,” said Alex Faust, who will call the play by play for Monday’s game on TNT, “and when the team traveled up to Seattle late last season, they were impressed by the structure and the fortitude even for a team that only had 60 points on the year. And that’s carried over into this season.”

Faust, who joined Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Monday, went on to say that he sees a team that can compete for a championship for years to come when he looks at the Kraken. That has to do with the foundation that the team under general manager Ron Francis and head coach Dave Hakstol first established and is now building around.

“I think that they have the foundation already, even if it doesn’t wind up being this year (that the Kraken play for a championship),” Faust told hosts Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost. “… The structure that they put in place, it’s a team that is built on shot suppression first defensively. They’ve basically done that during the regular season to get themselves to the playoffs. If they can continue to do that over the long haul and build on the personnel that they have… and build on what they’ve done this year, I think this team will have absolutely all the tools to compete for a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

Who could lead the Kraken in a title run?

One centerpiece in particular stands out to Faust: Matty Beniers, the expected winner of the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy as this season’s best rookie.

“Matty Beniers, he’s going to put on some weight in the offseason, he’s going to be a really good centerman in this league, might even be the future captain of this team,” Faust said. “… I actually felt like having seen him live in the playoffs for the first time in Game 3, he held his own pretty well and obviously (scored) a clutch goal to tie the game. He has a nose for the net. You gotta be able to work in those dirty areas around the front of the goal and he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there.

“It’s a great sign for the future that you come right out of college, and this is the most games in a single season he’s played in his life and really hasn’t hit that wall yet, which is pretty impressive for a rookie player coming out of college where you only play 35 to 40 games in a season. He’s already played 80 plus here for Seattle.”

The Seattle Kraken host the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 at 7 p.m. Monday night at Climate Pledge Arena, with Faust calling the game on TNT. The Kraken need a win either Monday night or Wednesday in Denver to force a Game 6 on Friday to guarantee at least one more postseason game this year in Seattle.

Bump and Stacy airs live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on Seattle Sports. Find podcasts of the show at this link, and hear the full conversation with Faust in the player below.

More on the Seattle Kraken

MacKinnon, Avalanche spoil Kraken’s home playoff debut, 6-4
ESPN’s Linda Cohn: Kraken prove to Avs ‘they mean business,’ so what’s next?
Forslund: Avalanche seem ‘agitated’ by Kraken, and that’s good
Salk: Kraken ‘did everything they needed’ to stun Avs in Game 1
Fann: Seattle Kraken with prime opportunity to turn casual fans into diehards

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