The boys from the Seattle Kraken have been giving fans the full gamut of Stanley Cup Playoff experiences. After Dallas handed the Kraken two consecutive losses in Games 4 and 5 of the second-round matchup, the Kraken bounced back with a roller coaster of a win in Game 6.
Among us fans, there was some genuine concern going into Saturday’s Game 6 that the Kraken magic had finally run out. Instead, Seattle came out flying and overcame every bump in the road, earning a 6-3 win. It was a night that no fan in the building will forget.
Of course, that only set the stage for the game Monday; another Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In my mind, there is nothing greater in all of sports. The anxiety and suspense during Game 7 is like nothing else I feel in sports. It can be exhilarating and miserable at the exact same time. I could tell you to just enjoy it, but that is a fool’s errand, so I am going to tell you to just experience it however you see fit.
The full Stanley Cup Playoff experience
Making the playoffs is one thing, but the Kraken are giving new hockey fans the full spectrum of what the Stanley Cup Playoffs are all about. From Jordan Eberle’s overtime winner in Game 4 against the Avalanche to forcing a Game 7 against Dallas, these playoffs could not have been scripted any better for Seattle. It is heartwarming to see all the people talking about the Kraken right now, and this was part of my dream when I started the NHLtoSeattle grassroots campaign over 12 years ago. I am a product of playoff hockey, and I am sure the Kraken are minting new hockey fans with every passing game.
The legend of Tye Kartye continues to grow
Darren and I have talked about the legend of Tye Kartye several times on our YouTube “show,” Kraken Takeaways, but it is worth mentioning again; Tye Kartye is having a phenomenal debut for the Kraken, netting three goals over his nine playoff games so far.
He also had a huge hit on Ryan Suter in Game 6 that seemed to fire up the fans in the building. Clearly, coach Dave Hakstol is trusting this undrafted 22-year-old rookie by giving him more and more minutes. His 15+ minutes of ice time in Game 6 was the most he has played in a game this postseason. He was on the ice just under nine minutes in his debut in Game 5 of Round 1 and has seen his ice time increase steadily since then.
One of the lowlights of the 6-3 victory was the three response goals that Seattle allowed. There is no clear definition of a “response goal,” but for our purposes, we are going to define a response goal as a goal by an opposing team within two minutes of a goal being scored.
The Kraken allowed three response goals against them on Saturday. It is a problem that I have no clue how to solve and something we saw during the regular season as well.
Other Kraken Musings:
- The Kraken’s defensive corps is a collective 12-1 in Game 7’s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs over their careers.
- A year ago to the day, the Dallas Stars lost Game 7 to the Calgary Flames.
- When Vegas made the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, the following year USA Hockey saw a 60 percent increase in memberships in Nevada. We should expect a large increase in local participation next season, as these playoffs will inspire thousands of people, young and old, to pick up the sport.
- One thing that should not be overlooked is the Stanley Cup Playoff experience on this Kraken roster. Beyond just the cliche “Stanley Cup rings in the room,” plenty of guys have other playoff experience. Outside of the six guys with Stanley Cup rings, Jordan Eberle, Adam Larsson, Alex Wennberg, and Jamie Oleksiak all have significant playoff experience to draw from as they continue on this journey.
- The Kraken power play looked much improved in Game 6 and scored one goal. The Kraken managed nine total shots on net during the power play, which is the most power play shots they’ve had in one game during these playoffs.
- I am not ready to start thinking about next season, but Tye Kartye could fill in nicely to replace the probable departure of Daniel Sprong next season.
- The Coachella Valley Firebirds got a split in the first two games of the third round of the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs against the Calgary Wranglers. They are playing a five-game series in which they played Games 1 and 2 in Calgary and will play Games 3, 4, and 5 at home. Game 3 is tonight and is at the same time the Kraken play their Game 7.
Kraken themes for the week ahead
Win and move on.
The players have earned this opportunity to be just one win away from the Western Conference Finals. It is a do or die moment for this group, and now is their opportunity to take it.
Player Performance / Stick Taps
Jordan Eberle (SEA) – Eberle has eight points in the six games this series with five goals.
Kole Lind (CVF/SEA) – Lind has 15 points over 10 games in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs, including three goals in his last two games.
Brad Lambert (SEA-WHL) – Lambert has 23 points over 18 games in the WHL Playoffs and had two goals in Game 2 of the WHL Championship Series for the Seattle Thunderbirds. The T-Birds are currently tied 1-1 with the Winnipeg Ice in that series after losing Game 1 and winning Game 2. They will play the next three at home, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Chart of the Week
It has been the theme all season; the Kraken’s strength is their depth. Eighteen different players have scored in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most by any postseason team. Of regulars in the lineup, only Ryan Donato has not scored a goal for the Kraken.
Play of the Week
I love everything about this play.
If you have any questions, comments, or observations, don’t hesitate to leave something in the comments, and I will do my best to get back to you. See you on the other side of Game 7!