The Kraken Are In The Playoffs!

As you can easily tell, I am not much of a hockey fan yet. In the past, I would pretty much only watch if my brother was around and wanted to watch. But, if there was nothing else going on, and I was looking for something on cable to entertain my eyeballs, I’d be more than happy to throw on some playoff hockey and indulge in all the craziness.

After seeing countless games go multiple overtime periods, I have this image in my mind that the very best hockey is played in the post-season. Indeed, that ONLY great hockey games happen when it’s a Game 7 situation, or a team otherwise has its backs against the wall. That may or may not be true, but for the first time ever, I get to go into a playoff hockey season with a Seattle team right in the middle of all of it.

The Seattle Kraken finished with 100 points on the season (46-28-8), an increase of 40 points over their inaugural season last year (27-49-6). It’s either the greatest turnaround year-over-year in NHL history, or one of the greatest. And it means the Kraken are the top wild card team in the Western Conference.

One of the cool things about having a hockey team is learning how the playoff format works. I’ve never bothered to put that knowledge into my brain before, but it really is fascinating. The NHL puts importance on divisions more than anyone else, even the NFL. It’s crazy!

The top three teams in each division go to the playoffs; the final two spots are reserved for the aforementioned wild cards (best records, regardless of division). I wonder how often funky shit goes down, where both wild cards come from a really good division; probably less often than I’d think.

The Vegas Golden Knights are the top team in the West; they play the second wild card team. The Central Division winner is yet to be decided – there are two regular season games tonight, for some reason, one of which will decide the other division’s winner – but that’s where the Kraken will go next week. The other two matchups are reserved for the 2nd & 3rd teams in each division squaring off.

Then, the victor of the wild card/division winner series faces the victor of the 2-3 series from that division. In the case of the Kraken, we would essentially have to go through the Central Division if we hope to make the Western Conference Finals; meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets would have to go through Vegas and the Pacific Division before making the West Finals.

Not for nothing, but there’s a CONSIDERABLE advantage the Kraken have in this scenario! Avoiding Vegas until the Conference Finals (while hoping some other team knocks them out)? That’s awesome!

Of course, the Boston Bruins over in the East seem like the 1996 Bulls; they’re just running away with everything. 65-12-5, for a whopping 135 points! That’s unheard of! If anyone but the Bruins comes out of the East, they’ll definitely have earned their spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.

As for the Kraken and their first round series, it comes down to Dallas or Colorado. Dallas currently has a 1-point lead and their regular season is done. Colorado is playing at Nashville tonight (who have been eliminated), but the Predators have a winning record, so it’s not an automatic Avalanche victory.

If Dallas is our opponent, we play next Monday and Wednesday; if it’s Colorado, we play Tuesday and Thursday. I will do my damnedest to get in front of a television for those games.

I’m excited! This means everything! Of course, I’m not getting too up for it; odds are the Kraken will lose in the first round. We don’t have the goalie play and we don’t have the defense. We might have the scoring ability to win a game or two, but I think this has the strong feel of Just Happy To Be There. Then, maybe this offseason we’ll go out and get a proper goaltender for next year and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *