The Kraken Couldn’t Get By The Stars In Game 7

That was a crazy last two games by the Kraken! Every time you think they’re dead, they somehow come back to life. Until they finally didn’t; until it all became too much.

Game 6 on Saturday was in the running for the Kraken’s best game of the entire playoffs. We were back home, on the brink of elimination, and finally managed to turn up the intensity after meekly losing the previous two games. We scored six goals from five different players, we knocked out their goalie in the second period, and we kept up the pressure for the full 60 minutes (scoring 2 goals in each period). Grubauer was good enough, resulting in a 6-3 victory.

That led to last night’s Game 7 – back in Dallas – where it was everything I’ve come to expect from a Game 7 in the NHL playoffs. Extremely intense. Low scoring. Hard hitting. Power plays few and far between. Unfortunately for the Kraken, we just didn’t have that magic to power through, losing 2-1.

One person stands out above everyone else in this game, and that’s Philipp Grubauer. He was a STUD. Dallas reclaimed their edge from the opening puck drop, and never relinquished it until it was far too late. They were in our zone and throwing up shot after shot after shot all game long. The stats will tell you they had 28 official shots on goal, but I’m here to tell you there was at least double that. There was a point in the second period where it was like Grubauer was a UFC figher on his back taking a repeated barrage of blows, yet he somehow held strong. It wasn’t until a puck annoyingly got by one of our guys, leading to a one-on-one situation that Grubauer STILL almost managed to block.

We went into the final period down 1-0, but we still couldn’t manage any sort of offensive consistency. Everything we dumped into their zone was immediately ejected. We allegedly took 23 shots on goal, but it felt like a quarter of that. Whatever we managed to direct towards the goal was right in the goalie’s breadbasket. Except for the two shots that clanged loudly off the bar.

The diameter of the metal tube frame of a hockey goal is roughly 2 inches. We had two phenomenal scoring opportunities that hit squarely on the wrong half of that frame. Between that and the Herculean effort by Grubauer, that’s how close the Kraken came to moving to the Western Conference Finals.

The Stars took advantage of another Kraken mistake midway through the third to take a 2-0 lead. It felt insurmountable – and indeed, it was – but it still led to some exciting hockey in the closing minutes.

Down two scores, we went without a goalie for the last three minutes and change. Most of that time was spent trying to corral the puck, while avoiding a couple of juicy empty-net opportunities by the Stars. Finally, with less than 20 seconds left in regulation, Oliver Bjorkstrand flipped one up and over the shoulder of the goalie to make it 2-1. Even when it was at its most hopeless, the Kraken still managed to stage a comeback. In spite of our inability to cleanly win any faceoffs, we still dumped into their zone, and fired off a near-miss with precious few seconds remaining. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but it sure was exciting.

Everything that everyone’s writing about is all the same. What a fun season. What an amazing turnaround from year 1 to year 2. The Kraken went further in the playoffs than anyone had any right to expect.

The Kraken are just getting started.

It’s cliche, but it’s also true. That was … wonderful! My instinct in these situations – when my team’s season has just ended – is to look ahead to next year, and pontificate on the possibilities of going even further. How do we get there? What moves do we need to make to take the next steps in our progression? How do we one day (soon) win the Stanley Cup?

Those are important and fun questions to ask – especially when you run your own blog – but sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes you need to appreciate something great that just happened. The Kraken treated us to a winning season of hockey, two rounds of playoffs, and two game seven performances for the ages. They exceeded expectations, and there’s nowhere to go but up from here. We’re already THIS close to contending for the Western Conference Finals, and most of our core guys are already signed on for next season.

What a great time to be a hockey fan in Seattle!

On a personal note, now that I’m settled into my home, and have my sports-viewing situation figured out, I look forward to being more engaged on a weekly basis next season. There won’t be months between Kraken posts (at least, when the games start up again; there WILL be months between Kraken posts in the offseason).

But, I’ll say this, as a fair-weather fan, I needed this. I needed the Kraken to go on an enjoyable playoff run. I needed them to win a series and look good against quality opponents. I’ve watched more hockey in the last month than I’ve watched in my entire life before this! It’s everything I could’ve asked for, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future.

The 2023/2024 season is going to be off the chain!

The Kraken Are On The Brink Of Elimination

That’s back-to-back games now where the Kraken have looked inferior in every possible way.

The way the Stars’ top line is dominating this series, it got me to thinking. We’ve been endlessly praising how deep the Kraken are throughout the playoffs. They’re four lines strong! They can keep sending wave after wave of quality player at you! But, you know what they don’t have? When the chips are down, the Kraken don’t have that elite, top-shelf player or line that can carry you over the hump, or drag you back from the brink.

Now, it’s true, you don’t necessarily want to be too overly reliant on that top line, or that top player, to the detriment of the rest of your roster. But, the Kraken are a little lacking in superstars, and I think it’s biting them in the ass this series.

Maybe Matty Beniers will turn into that player one day. Maybe that other high draft pick will be someone of note. But, we don’t have that person on this roster right now, and it’s costing us the playoffs.

The Kraken lost 5-2 last night, two days after being blown out 6-3. The Stars got two extremely quick goals in the first period, and took a 3-0 lead inside the first minute of the second period. Adam Larsson got one right back, and later in the period Jared McCann slammed one home to make it 3-2.

This game was interesting for a little while after that, but midway through the final frame, the Stars made it 4-2, before scoring an empty-netter late to put it away.

I didn’t think Grubauer looked particularly competent in this one. Those first two Stars goals looked mighty easy. Then again, I just think the Stars are the better team, and they’ve looked that way in all but one of the games. In a way, it’s kind of impressive we made it this far, but I think this series is all but over. They’re just too talented, and it forces the Kraken to be absolutely perfect if they want to win a game.

We were able to be perfect once, and I think we were lucky to come away from Game 1 with an overtime victory, but to do so throughout a 7-game series is a pretty big ask.

There have been a lot of firsts this season for the Kraken. First playoff appearance, first playoff victory, first overtime playoff game, first Game 7, first series win, and now we’re heading into our first elimination game from the other side. Backs against the wall, we’ll get to see how the Kraken respond, in our home building no less! Should be fun. I hope the Kraken at least put on a good show in what figures to be our final go around the ice.

The Kraken Were Thoroughly Defeated To Even The Series

Well, the Kraken let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers. You win last night, you take a 3-1 lead and all but punch your ticket to the Western Conference Finals. Instead, the series is tied 2-2, and we’re in a 3-game series (just like we were in round one).

With their backs against the wall, the Stars didn’t mess around. They got the jump on us in the first period – taking a 1-0 lead – before exploding for another 4 goals in the second to take a 5-1 lead into the final frame, and prematurely end Grubauer’s night.

This was yet another game where Grubauer was under constant attack. I’m not saying he had the best game in the world, though it did look like he brought his lunch pail and went to work in the first period. I think the overwhelming pressure of the Stars’ attack finally got the better of him. It also didn’t help that the refs allowed an annoying bit of Goalie Interference on one of their scores, but that’s neither here nor there.

I was impressed with how the Kraken responded in the third period. We could’ve packed it in like the Stars did in the previous game, but we showed a lot of fight! Indeed, we scored early, and with a little over 4 minutes left, we scored again to make it 5-3. That, at the very least, gave us a few minutes of pulling the goalie for some rousing 6-5 action. Except, the Stars eventually got control of the puck and broke away for an empty netter that made it 6-3 and ended our fun.

Jaden Schwartz had our first two goals, and Adam Larsson had the third; too little, too late. We did see the return of Jared McCann, which was nice, though he had a pretty quiet game.

What can I say? We out-hit them savagely once again, and they only narrowly beat us in faceoffs. But, they had three power plays and they scored on two of them. We had two power plays and didn’t even come close to sniffing a goal. I hate to keep harping on this – because it’s an every-single-game occurrence – but maybe we need to institute a new power play lineup? If you wanted to know the difference in these two power play attacks, there was a prime opportunity to see it in real time. The Kraken were fumbling away a power play for a solid minute before they too got dinged with a penalty. After a minute of 4-on-4 action (which also went nowhere; we’ve yet to score on ANY 4-on-4 situation in the playoffs), the Stars were granted their minute of power play, and they probably scored inside of 10 seconds. It couldn’t have been easier for them! Meanwhile, all the Kraken do on their own power plays is pick goobers.

Thursday’s game is vital. Gotta go ahead 3-2, or I fear for our playoff lives.

The Kraken Blew Out The Stars In Game 3

I guess the Kraken really benefitted from the extra day off between games!

Game 3, in some ways, represented an amalgam of the first two. There was a scoreless first period – as there was last Thursday in Dallas. And, there was a period where the scoring just exploded – as there was last Tuesday in Dallas. But, unlike those games, the Kraken never let the Stars get their footing.

Unlike in Game 2, the scoreless first period last night felt a little more even. It didn’t seem like the Kraken were lucky to have shut them out for 20 minutes. Everything felt a little more in control, as if we had a plan on how to defend them and take them out of their game. Shots were few and far between, but also evenly distributed. Faceoffs weren’t one-sided. No penalties. But, still lots of good, hard hits. It was as clean of a period as I’ve ever seen.

Then, from the second period onward, it was total annihilation.

The Kraken put up two goals in the first three and a half minutes, then continued the scoring barrage midway through the period, scoring two more within two minutes of one another, before the Stars finally got one back. However, just before the second break, the Kraken made some nifty long-distance passes to get a fifth score in the books.

At 5-1, the Stars ended up pulling their goalie ahead of the third period. No matter, the Kraken continued to pour it on, ending the game up 7-2.

Seven different Kraken players scored: Jordan Eberle (getting the rebound off of a Stars’ player’s face, right in front of the net, in a nasty bit of bad luck for them), Alex Wennberg, Carson Soucy (in a nifty bit of puck handling to take it to the net himself before shooting it past Oettinger), Matty Beniers, Eeli Tolvanen, Yanni Gourde (short-handed, early in the third), and Justin Schultz.

There was also some really strong play by Grubauer in this one, saving 92.3%. He continues to pick his game up for the playoffs and has been our rock throughout.

You could really feel the advantage the Kraken have in being such a deep team. But, it also looked like we made some adjustments to neutralize their attack. I don’t know what any of this means going forward; I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Did we unlock a magic key to taking the Stars out? Or, was it just one game, and tomorrow will look a lot different? I tend to believe the latter.

What’s not in doubt is the fact that this series – at worst – will go six games. That means, of course, we’ll at least have two more home games to try to punch our ticket to the Western Conference Finals. Of course, there’s the slim possibility we win out, and this doesn’t get to six games; but that’s a good problem to have.

Also, not for nothing, but Jared McCann was seen practicing over the weekend for the first time since his brutal injury against the Avalanche. I think Geoff Baker confirmed it was a concussion (though I don’t know if the team actually reported that or not), which makes sense. You gotta be careful with that kind of injury in hockey. There was rumbling McCann might be ready to return tomorrow, which would be interesting. Tye Kartye has been more than capable in taking over for McCann, so we’ll see what happens if/when McCann returns.

The Kraken Laid An Egg In Game 2

That was as much of a dismantling as you can get with a 4-2 defeat.

I didn’t have the best feeling going into this one, so I kinda had my attention split and was only half following along. But, the scoreless first period was somewhat encouraging, even though the Stars were on it from the jump. The Kraken weathered that storm, and maybe they’d pick it up going forward.

But, it was just the opposite. The Stars scored 3 goals to our 1 in the second period (a nifty goal by newcomer Tye Kartye), then went up 4-1 before we scored late to make it respectable (a 5 on 5 goal by Jordan Eberle before a fruitless pulled-goalie portion to end it).

We now have two games under our belt. There was that Kraken barrage in the first period of game one, where we somehow scored 4 times; since then, we’ve scored 3 times in the subsequent five periods plus overtime. If I’m the Kraken, I feel lucky to have a victory under my belt. As an outsider, I don’t know if I feel great about the rest of this series. The eye test alone leads me to believe the Stars are just the better team. But, I kinda thought that about Colorado as well, and look how that turned out. The next game should be very telling, because if we look the same as we have the last five periods, it’s not going to be pretty.

The Stars outshot the Kraken 37-27 (that disparity was a lot worse until the very end, when we had a 6-on-5 advantage). They won 44 faceoffs to our 20! That’s over 2/3; unacceptable. They had triple the power play opportunities (including one really dumb penalty by the Kraken that led to one of the Stars’ goals, where the guy literally just tackled him near the net, like he was in a wrestling match).

More than anything, the Kraken just couldn’t get into a groove offensively. It wasn’t even elite goalie play; it was the entire Stars team taking control and never relenting.

That was as humdrum of a game as you’ll see by the Kraken. Some people online were positing that the Kraken were tired, which I get. That’s three road games in a row – dating back to game 7 in Colorado – and they’ve been away from Seattle for damn near a full week. But, of course, that’s no excuse. The best case scenario is this was just a loss to a really good team, who was never going to get beaten twice in a row on their home ice. Now we get two full days off to recover, before Game 3 at home on Sunday.

Time to flush that game and move onto the next.

The Kraken Kicked Off Round 2 With An Overtime Win

That game was absolutely bonkers. Right off the bat, we saw this wouldn’t be the same as our first round series vs. Colorado, when for the first time all playoffs, the Kraken didn’t score first. The Stars’ goal came almost disturbingly quick and easy, which left me with a really bad feeling.

We tied it up approximately halfway through the first period, and my nerves started to calm down. But, that just initiated a massive flurry of goals that saw the Kraken almost immediately go back down 2-1, only to wrap up the scoring barrage a few minutes later with the Kraken UP 4-2.

Jaden Schwartz got us started, Justin Schultz re-tied it at 2, Oliver Bjorkstrand continued his blistering run with goal #3, and Jordan Eberle capped it off for the period. I was beginning to wonder if this would turn into a Kraken rout!

The second period was much more sane, with no goals scored on either end. That proved to be pivotal, as the Kraken maintained their 2-goal advantage heading into the final frame.

But, then Joe Pavelski took over. He accounted for both Dallas goals in the first period, finished off the hat trick midway through the third, and then tied it at 4-4 a few minutes later with his fourth goal of the night. I don’t know what they call it when a guy makes 4 goals in a single game, but it was damned impressive. I want to say at least three of them were off of deflections, where he was stationed right in front of the goalie and gently nudging the puck onto a slightly different trajectory into the back of the net.

If that’s their game – if they’re just going to score on these batshit deflections all the time – I think it’s going to be tough for the Kraken to maintain. How do you stop that?! It seems like luck, but I’m sure this is a skill he’s honed over decades of practice. Grubauer looks like he’s got an incredibly difficult job ahead of him this series!

We’ll see if we can keep up with our scoring. Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger looked like he was dead in the water in the first period, but he really clamped down nicely the final two frames. It took quite a bit of work for the Kraken to get the game-winner in overtime; Yanni Gourde taking the rebound and shooting it in.

I was SURE – as soon as the Stars tied it in the third – that we’d go on to lose that game, and I’d be throwing up my hands in defeat. As it is, I can’t say I feel great about the rest of the series, but I’ll never stop being impressed by the Kraken’s ability to overcome adversity and change the game’s momentum in a blink of an eye. Nothing phases this team! They really do look like a team that’s playing with nothing to lose.

Game 2 on Thursday, before we return home. Game 3 doesn’t start until Sunday, so that gives us a little extra rest and home cooking, after being on the road for so long between Colorado and Dallas.

The Kraken Advanced Past Colorado In A Thrilling Game 7

To give you a little peek behind the curtain at what I do here – since I don’t like to update this blog on weekends, or write multiple posts in a day – I decided that if the Kraken lost their series to Colorado, I’d write about the rest of the Seahawks’ draft over the weekend. If they won, however, I’d be here bright and early on Monday morning celebrating more hockey in Seattle.

Well, here we are! Spoiler alert: the Kraken won!

Since I don’t write on weekends, I didn’t have to get on here and muse about the abysmal defeat at home on Friday. That was just a brutal, hapless 4-1 defeat where – even though the Kraken scored first, as they did in every single game that series – they never seemed to even be in it, let alone in any sort of driver’s seat. That was a pounding we never really experienced before. I would say even in the 6-4 defeat the previous Saturday (also at home, making our two biggest losses both in our home arena), we put up some fight. But, Friday’s game was a total dismantling on all fronts. The Avalanche were the aggressors, they dominated in faceoffs, they dominated in power plays, they dominated defensively, and they dominated on the boards. It truly looked like the Kraken thought they could just show up, vibe with the crowd, and win by doing little else.

If the Avs had that in them all along – and played that way from the onset – this series would’ve been over in 4 games.

Last night, it looked like our Cinderella season would come to an end. The entire first period looked like an extension of the previous game; the Kraken were sleepwalking through their final moments. The Avs severely out-shot us, and even though Grubauer had some nice stops in there, we were lucky not to be down 1 or 2 goals heading into the first break. One very clearly hit the top of Gru’s stick that otherwise should’ve been an easy score.

Somehow, we parlayed that scoreless first into a much-improved second period where we went up 2-0 before giving one back just before the end. Oliver Bjorkstrand had both scores – and could’ve very well had up to three more in the course of the game, with a number of opportunities slamming into the crossbar, or otherwise miraculously saved by Georgiev – and the team in general seemed to move the puck more freely into the Colorado zone. It would’ve been really nice to have a two-goal lead heading into the final period, but having any lead at all felt like a minor miracle.

The Kraken were lucky the game wasn’t tied up early in the third. The Avs did, indeed, score a goal, but it turned out to be fraudulent, as for the second time this series, one of their goals was taken off the board after a replay review showed the Avs were offsides. You know what I learned this week? That you can challenge in hockey, but if you lose, you have to play a man down as a penalty. Isn’t that great?! Don’t you kinda wish they’d do that in football?

After that gift, the Kraken really clamped down defensively, and were able to still get the puck into the opposing end of the ice with regularity to efficiently kill time. We endured the last few minutes of 6 on 5, and that was that. Stunned silence in Colorado, as the reigning champs were taken out.

There’s nothing quite like leaving a team like that wondering just how in the hell they lost that series to a team like the Kraken. I don’t think they took us seriously until it was too late, and ultimately they didn’t have enough magic to move past us. Also, I mean, when you’re so reliant on one very potent line – that has to play as many minutes as they do for you to succeed – I don’t think that bodes well for long-term success. The Avs repeating as champs seemed like the longest of long shots.

This sets us up for a series with the Dallas Stars starting tomorrow. If you’ll recall, we very nearly played the Stars in the first round, until Colorado won their division on the last day of the regular season. Dallas ended up taking out the Minnesota Wild in six games (after being down 2-1 in the series), so this figures to be a pretty tough opponent as well. I can’t wait to learn all about this new team in the coming days!

The Kraken Are 1 Win Away From Advancing Past The Avalanche

Last night’s game was a thing of beauty, on all fronts. It was a defensive slugfest through one period – the first time this series no goals have been scored in the opening frame – with both teams down a player. The Kraken, of course, lost McCann due to injury from an illegal hit sustained in Game 4; the Avalanche lost Makar due to suspension from that illegal hit.

I was worried the Kraken might come out tight in this one, but they were still as aggressive as ever; their shots just didn’t find the back of the net. That started to change in the second period, as we took a 2-1 lead into the final frame. Morgan Geekie took a rebound and put it behind Georgiev. A few minutes later, a Kraken fast break saw a pass land in Tye Kartye’s lap, who slapped it in for his first career NHL goal in his first career NHL game (taking the place of McCann in this one). It was truly a remarkable event that’s pretty much the main takeaway of the game.

Sandwiched between those two goals was an idiotic play by Grubauer, who – in spite of being surrounded by normal hockey players who are used to skating around for a living – went behind the net to pass the puck to someone, only to be late in getting back in front of the goal. The puck easily whizzed by him in what was an incredibly lucky break for the Avs. Or, again, a very stupid mistake by the Kraken. Why do goalies do this? Let the skaters skate! Goalies stay in front of the goal where they belong! Do hockey players get annoyed by this, or is it just me?

Anyway, I didn’t have to fret for too long, because early in the third period, Yanni Gourde tipped in a beautiful shot to put the Kraken ahead 3-1. There was still most of a full period left to play, but with the way we were attacking with the puck, we ate up most of that time no problem.

My biggest concern was the real possibility that the Avs would win based on luck. They brought the game back to 3-2 on a goal that bounced off of two separate Kraken players, who were seemingly nowhere near the goal for that to happen. Between that, and all the amazing scoring chances that just BARELY missed giving the Kraken an insurmountable lead, I was really nervous for those last 3 and a half minutes. But, I guess that’s what playoff hockey is all about. They pulled their goalie and did their thing 6 on 5, and we STILL barely missed an empty netter! The Avs live some kind of charmed life, but it wasn’t enough to get them the W.

I will say that aside from the boneheaded unforced error, Grubauer was fantastic yet again. I have a hard time pinning that second goal on him, as it looked like a knuckleball the way it floated and danced its way into the net. He’s been quite remarkable!

The Kraken take a 3-2 series lead back to Seattle for a possible series-clinching game on Friday. I LOVE PLAYOFF HOCKEY!

The Kraken Won In Overtime To Tie The Series

They talked about it before the game: if the Kraken can keep the Avalanche under 4 goals, they have a good chance to win this game.

Saturday’s game was just a monstrosity, but it was also an outlier. There’s been a similar theme to all four games so far, though. The Kraken get off to a fast start, they score first, they let the Avalanche back into the game, and they struggle to put the game away. In Game 1, the Kraken had the good fortune to limit mistakes and some great goaltending behind them. In Game 2, they just ran out of gas and could never get that third goal. In Game 3, we were tied after two periods before falling apart at the end. But, in Game 4, we were able to right the ship, after a hard-fought, scoreless third period.

To be fair, the Kraken outplayed the Avalanche throughout Game 4. Everything I was bitching about was cleaned up in a big way. The Kraken won 56.1% of the faceoffs. The Kraken scored 2 of their 3 goals on power plays. The Kraken limited giveaways to just 3, and outshot the Avalanche 43-22. It was domination in every conceivable way! Our 2-0 lead at the end of the first period was testament to that.

The Kraken pressed the issue, and scored within 4 minutes of the start of the game. They also were pretty fired up after a dirty hit on McCann that knocked him out for the game and probably the series (smashing his head into the boards after the puck had flown out of play; somehow Cale Makar avoided a 5-minute major penalty, settling for some extra tough love from Kraken players and fans). We thankfully scored on that power play to not let McCann’s loss go totally to waste, and it looked potentially like the rout was on.

But then, much like Game 2, we gave it all away in the second period. The Avalanche scored on a 3-on-2 fast break, then later – at the last possible moment of a power play – took advantage of the discombobulation of the Kraken’s defense that pulled Grubauer just out of position enough to sneak it by him.

What’s unnerving is how great Alexandar Georgiev gets as the game goes on. The Kraken took so many shots on goal, and not all of them were great, but we still had some solid chances, and he was stopping everything in his path. It was insane! And, it’s been that way for most of this series. He’ll give up one or two early goals in the initial frenzy, then he settles down and is a fucking brick wall.

When the game went to overtime, I thought the Kraken were dead in the water. It just seemed like we were never going to get that one last goal. But, we endured, kept pushing the puck, and finally got one by Georgiev when he was caught on his knees.

Goals by Will Borgen and Daniel Sprong in regulation, followed by Jordan Eberle being in the right place at the right time in OT. Shoutout to Grubauer, who once again turned in a lights out performance; he’s taking his game up to that next level that we desperately needed! That knots the series at 2-2 and guarantees there will be one more home game. Wednesday, we play in Colorado again, then Friday we’re back in Seattle. This week just got a whole lot more interesting!

The Kraken Must Win Tonight

The Kraken are a thrilling team to watch, but they’re also extremely frustrating. For a team that was sixth in the league in goals scored, and a team that allegedly led the league in goals scored in 5 on 5 situations, you’d think they’d be better in power play situations. Anecdotally, I can see in other games where teams are easily able to whip the puck around and find some openings to get some shots on goal.

Yet, the Kraken can’t seem to do a fucking thing with the puck! They’ve got Avalanche players in their face, they’re constantly getting it knocked out of the zone, and worst of all, the Kraken seem so fucking nonchalant about getting the puck back into the opposing zone. I mean, what’s this shitty thing they do where they keep passing it back and passing it back, until they’ve got four guys at the blue line and one trying to bust through a line of scrimmage of sorts. All it does is waste precious fucking time and give the opposing defense a chance to crowd the blue line, thereby making it more difficult to maintain possession in their zone and find scoring opportunities. Shots on goal during a power play feel like a motherfucking miracle whenever they happen! But, of course, none have a prayer of going in, because they’re usually shots from way out, in the brief instants where we have an opening.

In general, I don’t get why the Kraken so often try to slow things down. Even when they’re holding it for lines to change, it’s continued to be held for an inordinate amount of time afterward for some unknown reason. Yet, when do we see the Kraken at their best? In that frenzy of the first few minutes of the game, when the Kraken are pushing the issue, have the defense on its heels, and scoring before they even know what’s what. That’s the kind of play we saw throughout game 1, and for the first half of game 2, before we went into our turtle shells and hid out for the remainder of regulation.

For the third game in a row, the Avalanche won over 55% of faceoffs, which leads to a much easier time for them offensively. Hence the 6-4 victory. The fact that we even scored a power play goal at all was lost on me after the Avalanche went up 6-3 on an empty-netter; I turned the game off and went back home at that point. Meaningless, if you ask me; what incentive did Colorado have for putting any effort into stopping us, with so little time remaining? We still had double their power play opportunities (6 to 3) and did next-to-nothing with them. At home. In our first-ever home playoff game. In front of some extremely loud and rowdy fans. I was proud of them, at least.

Also, the Kraken are just sloppy with the puck. There are too many giveaways in every game; I don’t know how you clean that up. Maybe that’s it. Maybe we try to push things, that leads to giveaways, and then the coach reins the team in? I dunno. It’s just frustrating. You can see they’re a good team, but something’s holding them back. Maybe it’s coaching, maybe it’s youth, maybe we’re just one or two good players away from being great.

It was nice to see Jaden Schwartz get a couple goals, as well as Matty Beniers get his first-ever playoff goal (to tie the game in the second). And Jamie Oleksiak had a nifty move 19 seconds before Beniers scored, to start to turn things around. I’ll also give it up for our own power play defense, which has thus far shut the Avalanche out through three games. But, that non-power play defense has A LOT of growing up to do, because there are far too many breakaway opportunities against Grubauer. I’ll say this, he didn’t play as bad as the final score indicates. One of those six goals was from an empty net. At least two were on giveaways that they beat him in one-on-one situations.

I see these other teams with crisp, precision passing. I see the Kraken often flailing their sticks around, not really aware of where the puck is going. I dunno man, clean it up!

Game 4 is tonight in Seattle. If we don’t win and tie up this series, consider it over. As I said before and I’m sure I’ll say again, we can’t beat this team three in a row.