Seattle Kraken, Yanni Gourde

Simmer’s AM Skate: Kraken Love OT, Playoff Chances

It’s starting to look like 94 points will earn the Seattle Kraken a playoff spot in the Western Conference, based on the falterings of the lower teams in the race. That’s great news. Naturally, the Kraken won’t want to go 8-and-11 over their final 19 games, but should they falter to that record, there’s an excellent chance they’d still get in.

Preferably, they’d like to go 11-and-8 to reach the magic 100 point mark. Also not out of the question.

Seattle wrapped up a perfect 4-and-0 roadie with a come-from-behind 3-2 overtime win on Sunday night in Colorado. The Kraken finished the season series against the Avalanche with two wins and an shoot-out loss for five of a possible six points.

“They’re one of the best teams in the league and every time you show up against one of those teams it’s a measuring stick,” Yanni Gourde told Root Sports postgame after scoring the game winner. “You want to go out there and show your best effort and see where your game is at and I think we proved again tonight that if we stick to the system, trust what we do, we can make it difficult on teams and maybe come back. It was a great team effort tonight for us.”

Gourde became the 13th Kraken to reach the 10-goal mark this season; they’re the only National Hockey League team to hold that distinction. The balanced effort has been impressive to say the least.

Added Kraken Drama

When Seattle lost to the Winnipeg Jets at home on November 13th, 2022 in overtime 3-2, it marked the third time they’d lost in OT this season with zero victories. That followed an inaugural campaign that saw them go 1-and-5 in the extra session.

After the Jets loss, Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol decided to specifically practice 3-on-3 over the next two days at the Kraken Community Iceplex. It immediately paid dividends. They won the very next game 3-2 in overtime against the New York Rangers and then the very next game again 3-2 in OT over the LA Kings. That was within the week.

Since then they haven’t lost in overtime. Including those two November victories, Seattle has cranked off seven consecutive wins. Apparently practice does make perfect.

The Kraken will try to avoid a letdown and take care of business against the Anaheim Ducks at Climate Pledge Arena on Tuesday night. The Ducks are the 4th worst team in the NHL with 50 points.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.