Seattle Kraken Defeat Defending Stanley Cup Champions Colorado Avalanche


Landen Tidwell, Staff Writer

“That’s Kraken Hockey Baby,” is what John Forslund said as the Seattle Kraken knocked off the defending Stanley cup champion Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in game seven of the first round of the Stanley cup playoffs. Seattle will face Dallas in the second round starting on Tuesday at the American Airlines Arena. They make NHL history by being the first ever expansion team to beat a defending champion in a playoff debut.


Phillip Grubauer made 33 saves and was arguably the Krakens best player this series. Oliver Bjorkstrand also had himself a game with a hot stick. He had Seattle’s only two goals on the night.


After finishing last place in the pacific last year, the Kraken made the playoffs in only their second year by cinching the first wild card spot. Scheduled to play against Colorado, people all over the media had the Kraken as huge underdogs. Most hockey insiders had them losing in a sweep to Colorado. But Seattle proved that to be wrong early in game one winning 3-1.


In games two and three Colorado was victorious and led the series 2-1. But in game four, the Kraken came out victorious in overtime after a Jordan Eberle goal which gave the Kraken their first playoff win at home and tied the series 2-2.


This was also the game where Kraken leading scorer Jared McCann had to leave after a big hit by Colorado defenseman and last year’s Conn Smythe winner Cale Makar. This gave the Seattle crowd an enemy. After the hit and for the rest of the series Cale Makar got booed by the Seattle crowd every time, he touched the puck. Makar had a hearing for the hit and was suspended for one game.


In McCanns absence, the Kraken called up the AHL’s rookie of the year Tye Kartye. It wasn’t a long trip for him because the Kraken’s AHL affiliate Coachella Valley were in Colorado Springs. Kartye was filling McCann’s spot in the Beniers and Eberle line. After being told he was going to play, Kartye told his parents, and they took the first flight from Toronto to Denver to watch their son play.


In the second period of game five, Kartye got a cross ice pass from Jordan Eberle and one timed it into the net for his first ever NHL goal at 9:59. It also gave the Kraken the lead in that gave 2-1. Seattle won the game 3-2 and also led the series 3-2 with a chance to close out in Seattle.


Game six started with Colorado scoring first but it was overturned because the play was offsides. This gave Seattle to keep the streak alive and made it six games of scoring first with Vince Dunn scoring. That was the only Seattle goal of the night with Colorado winning 4-1. Making the series tied 3-3 and sending a game seven back to Denver.


Game seven started out scoreless and stayed that way through the first period. Then just like every other game the Kraken got on the board first with Bjorkstrand scoring. Four minutes later Bjorkstrand was one on one and sniped a goal pass Colorado’s goaltender Alexander Georgiev. Colorado scored one on a power play making it 2-1. Colorado tied it 2-2 but Seattle coach Dave Hakstol challenged the play. He said that Colorado was offsides and after review it was clear to everyone, and the goal was taken away and the score remained 2-1.


Bjorkstrand kept firing at the net almost getting a hat trick. He scored two goals on the night and beat Georgiev five times but three stayed out courtesy of the goalposts. Those three posts don’t matter because Seattle shocked the hockey world by winning game seven 2-1 and won the series 4-3.


Seattle scored first in every game of the seven-game series, making them only the second team ever able to do that. They also used their depth to their advantage, having 15 different players score goals for them this series.


It only will get tougher for the Kraken but with this series win it should be a huge confidence booster going into round two against a very good Stars team.