The Seattle Kraken found a way to shut down Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche last night, and took Game 1. The 3-1 victory was the first postseason win in franchise history. The top heavy Avalanche could not get much going in spite of their best effort. The star studded top line was neutralized by the Kraken forecheck and was essentially shut down after the first period.
Fear the deep?
More like fear the depth.
The Kraken’s depth was clearly the difference maker in Game 1. Colorado was outmatched majority of the game, including pulling the goalie with slightly over 4 minutes left in regulation. Colorado did an excellent job of keeping the Kraken’s top forwards off of the board (Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle, Matty Beniers, etc), but the depth players stepped up and scored when they needed them to.
The best player on the ice for either team was goalie Phillipp Grubauer. Grubauer survived multiple pushes by the Colorado attack and made big save after big save. If the Kraken were to come away with a win, Grubauer had to the best player in the game, and he was just that.
The Stanley Cup playoffs are a marathon, not a race. No series is won after the first game, but the Kraken have the advantage now after securing a win in Colorado. Most experts would agree that neither team has the advantage until you win a game on the road. For the Kraken, the goal should have been to come out of Denver with 1 win, now they have a chance Thursday night to go up 2-0 and head back to Climate Pledge Arena with a commanding series lead.
The Avalanche are the defending Cup champs, and should be looked at as the best team in the league until they are knocked out. The Kraken can not sleep on this team. The kinks in the Avs’ armor are visible, the real test now will be how they respond in Game 2, and how the Kraken will matchup against what is sure to be a fired up Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar.
The Kraken are the better team in this matchup. Game 2 should be higher scoring as both teams will make adjustments. Stay focused boys!
Fear the deep! (or depth)