This is the night! The Seattle Kraken face off against the Colorado Avalanche tonight in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Tonight’s game is an elimination game as Seattle walked away with a 3-2 victory in Game 5, and a 3-2 series lead.
The winner of Game 5 usually wins the series.
Game 6 is truly a must win. For the Kraken, it’s time to finish the defending Cup champs off and not give them any life. End this series tonight. For the Avalanche its win or go home, literally. Their season ends tonight with a Kraken win.
Cale Makar makes his return from a 1-game suspension following his uncharacteristically dirty hit on Kraken leading scorer Jared McCann. The Avs without Makar looked docile. Like a toothless cat. Makar’s return will no doubt inject life into the Avs as they look to make a final push for survival. The Colorado big 3 will have to be at their absolute best if they are going to win. This scares me (a little).
The player/s of focus for the Kraken in Game 6 are Brandon Tanev and Phillipp Grubauer. These two difference makers are going to have to set the tone early if the Kraken are going to win (and they are going to win).
Tanev has been electric all season. He is easily Kraken fans’ favorite player. Dude is gritty, super fast, scores big goals, pisses other teams off, and hits. There is nothing to not like about this guy unless your team is playing against him. This postseason Tanev has 1 goal, 1 assist, and 2 points. Pretty similar averages from the regular season. His game goes beyond the scoresheet. He truly is the straw that stirs the drink in Seattle.
And, those eyes.
Grubauer has been awesome this postseason. After a questionable first year with the Kraken, and an awful start to his second campaign, Grubauer has once again found his game. This series he has played like a man possessed. A man out for revenge. The Avs messed up by not re-signing him. Their loss, our gain. Grubauer needs to finish them off, tonight.
The Kraken win if…
Grubauer is lights out. This is the moment you have been waiting for. Punch the Kraken’s ticket to the next round and send your former team home packing. The Avs look tired, they look beat. If Grubauer dominates the Kraken will win.
Yanni Gourde and Daniel Sprong each score. Gourde has been sensational and Sprong has been sneaky good. A real testament to how great the Kraken depth is. The Avs do not have a line that has matched well against these guys. If they each score, the Kraken will win.
they win the faceoff circle. Last game, the Avs won a whopping 60% of the faceoffs. Including 2 late draws with the game on the line (and those faceoff loses weren’t even close; the Avs had clean wins). The Kraken have to keep the puck away from Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Makar. It starts with winning the faceoff circle.
The Avalanche win if…
Rantanen scores a hat trick. For the new hockey fans, that’s 3 goals in a game. He has carried the Avs this far. How much does he have left in the tank? If he goes off, the Avs will win. Shut him down.
their 3rd and 4th lines dig deep and supplement the scoring. The Avs big 3 will score. If the ‘depth’ on the Avs help out with some run support, Seattle could find themselves in strange territory. The Avs lack of depth has been their issue. Let’s hope that this glaring weakness continues.
goalie Alexandar Georgiev keeps the Kraken to 2 or fewer goals. It could happen. This is easily the biggest game of his career and in order for the Avs to win he will need to be at his best. Also, I won’t poke fun at his name anymore.
Tonight is the night. I predict the Kraken win 4-2. The pucks drops tonight at 7:00pm PT from Climate Pledge Arena. Let’s go!
Fear the deep!
(also, if you are the fan in the featured image drop me a message below! great picture!)