The Seattle Kraken need just one victory to clinch a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Two points for the Kraken, presently with 94, or a single loss for the Calgary Flames and the Nashville Predators, and it would be mathematically impossible for either one of them to catch Seattle.
Should the Nashville Predators win all five of their remaining games and the Kraken only win once, both teams would have 96 points. Seattle owns the tie-breaker by virtue of having more regulation victories.
One of those clubs could still catch the Winnipeg Jets and make the playoffs. The Jets (89) are only two points ahead of the Flames and the two teams play one another Wednesday night. The Preds are three points behind Winnipeg for the 2nd wild card spot.
The Kraken, in the first wild card position in the Western Conference, can clinch a playoff spot at home on Thursday night with a victory over the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Kraken have set a number of NHL records for a 2nd year franchise. The first one to fall was point improvement from season-one to season-two when the Kraken reached 88 points, an improvement of 28 points over their inaugural season, surpassing the New York Islanders of the mid-1970’s.
En route to that mark, six points ago, the Kraken also pulled off some serious road magic. When Seattle won seven consecutive road games on the same trip between January 3rd and 14th, they became the first NHL or NBA franchise in history to win every game on a road trip of seven games or more. That run and the confidence it generated went a long way in putting the Kraken in the position they find themselves today.
With their lopsided 8-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night, Seattle surpassed the Oakland Seals of 1968-’69 with the greatest win differential from a first season to second. The Seals won 14 more games than in their first season, the Kraken have now won 16 more with their win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
As for the straight-up record for most wins in a second season, the 2019 Vegas Golden Knights held the mark with 43. Seattle has tied it and could set the new standard with a win on Thursday. Also, of course, that’s the same night they could clinch the playoffs.
That’s the only end result of all these records this Seattle team is really concerned about.
We’re very close to seeing history in the making.