Based on the results of the final game of the National Hockey League season, the Seattle Kraken will play the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This by virtue of the Avalanche’s 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators.
The series will begin in Denver on Tuesday night, continue there on Thursday night, and move to Seattle for Game-3 next Saturday evening. The Kraken will also host Game-4 on Monday, April 24th and Game-6 on Friday, April 28th should it be necessary.
Colorado proved they wanted the Central Division title and the match-up with the Kraken. They needed the two points to hop over the Dallas Stars for first place. Because of Nathan MacKinnon’s determination — he tallied a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, and an assist — they go it.
Despite an injury plagued season, the defending Stanley Cup champions are back with a record of 8-1-and-1 over their final 10 games.
The Kraken will practice at the Kraken Community Iceplex on Saturday morning at 10:30 am and the session will be open to the public. This will likely be the last time this season that that opportunity will occur.
Seattle will begin looking at match-ups and its special teams work. In the season series against the Avalanche, the Kraken went 2-0-and-1. The Kraken beat Colorado 3-2 on October 21st in Denver, lost in a shoot-out 2-1 at Climate Pledge Arena on January 21st, and beat the Av’s in overtime 3-2 on the road on March 5th.
All that said, coaches will be the first to tell you, “throw all of that out, it doesn’t mean anything.”
It’s true. The regular season means nothing in comparison to the playoffs and many factors can impact results, the greatest of which is goaltending. The netminder can cost you a series, keep you in it, or steal it.
As it stands, Martin Jones will back-up Philipp Grubauer as the postseason gets started. While recent fill-in Joey Daccord was sent back to the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League to get their Calder Cup championship aspirations underway, it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily out of the NHL scene. There is no salary cap in the postseason and no roster limitations, so minor league players can be made readily available in a pinch.
Game-1 on Tuesday is presently scheduled to start a little after 7 pm pacific time in Denver, an 8 pm local start.