Seattle Kraken shocks NHL world by defeating defending champions in playoffs

The Seattle Kraken’s surprising victory over the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has silenced doubters and boosted morale. Despite finishing 30th in the NHL in their inaugural season, the Kraken made the playoffs for the first time and became the first team to earn their first playoff series win by defeating a defending champion.

In a seesaw series, they won three of the four games in Denver and never panicked, coming back from a 4-1 loss in Game 6 to win Game 7, where they scored first. Although they had 15 players score without goals from Jared McCann or Andre Burakovsky, who led them in the regular season, forward Oliver Bjorkstrand noted that it was a sign of their depth and ability to score from any line.

Under the surface, the Kraken’s victory was not as much of a surprise. They had a 100-point season and went 2-0-1 against the Avalanche in the regular season, including 2-0-0 in Denver. They also had plenty of playoff experience on their roster, including Game 7 situations. Moreover, 13 players scored 13 goals or more, and they averaged 3.52 goals per game, tied for fourth in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils.

Goalie Philipp Grubauer noted that the team had shown throughout the year that they could play and beat the best, and their playoff victory over the Avalanche was a significant achievement that demonstrated their potential. The Kraken will play the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs on May 3, 2023.

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