Memories: A flashback to the first round of the playoffs for the Kraken, and the good vibes created in an unusual manner by the Root Sports broadcasters.
April 24th, 2023, Climate Pledge Arena (CPI): The Kraken trail their opening round series with the Colorado Avalanche 2-games-to-1 after a 6-4 home loss in Game-3.
“We lost the first home playoff game, we had to move it,” Kraken game analyst Eddie Olczyk said during an intermission of Game-4. The superstitious shrine had suffered the affects of a greater hockey superstition: With a loss, one must shake things up.
The shrine came to life during the regular season and took up a decent amount of space on a chair along the wall, halfway to the front of the booth where John Forslund and Olczyk or J.T. Brown called the games. It was reduced in size and moved to a table in the back corner after the Game-3 loss.
During the magical Seattle season, despite a better road record for the team, the Kraken TV crew swore by the shrine’s universal effects … sort of. They swore by it if Seattle won, they swore at it if Seattle lost.
There was controversy after Game-3 with the movement and downsizing. Seattle Hockey Insider tracked down Kraken lead broadcaster Forslund during the 1st intermission for some exclusive comments …
JForslund: The shrine moved, yeah, I’m not happy about that.
SHI: What’s the deal?
JF: Well, we had to move it.
SHI: Why, because you lost?
JF: Well, I’m not sure, I’m not in charge of logistics. All I know is, I’m like a spiritual leader. I have nothing to do with the logistical approach to this shrine.
SHI: So you were upset on a spiritual level?
JF: Yes, initially, but then I asked for a bit of serenity, and it was granted to me … by the Kraken gods.
SHI: So is it going to work tonight?
JF: It’s going to work tonight.
And thus it was to be. Serenity and positive puck results from the plasticized Grand Poobah of hockey gods.
The Kraken won Game-4, and they didn’t just win it, they won it in dramatic fashion. Jordan Eberle scored at the 3:00 mark of overtime to even the series at two games apiece.
A full length view of the shrine.
The gods had spoken, and they would travel with the Kraken to Denver where Seattle won Game-5 by a 3-2 final.
The return home wasn’t so pleasant. In front of the shrine, a 4-1 loss.
The shrine was dismantled.
Well, not so much for spiritual reasons, but because the local TV crews in the NHL stop doing the broadcasts after the first round and the network rights-holders take over, much to our chagrin.
Kraken Shrine Origins
Brown, TV analyst and commentator, was the guru of the shrine and was unavailable at this time for comment, presumably off pursuing the deepening of his virtues while seeking further hockey enlightenment.
He had made comments prior to Game-4 but the audio of that interview mysteriously disappeared from the recorder.
The shrine, which featured beads, lights, flowers, a giant tiki head and a Yanni Gourde bobble-head with half its arms missing, is presently in disarray and presumably in storage.
We’ll wait and see if the happy TV mojo returns for the 2023-’24 season.
Happy Seattle Puck Mojo
Apparently there’s been some residual positive effects emanating from the CPI. The Seattle Thunderbirds won the Western Hockey League championship and begin the Memorial Cup tournament in Kamloops this week. The Kraken AHL farm team, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, start the Calder Cup western conference final vs the Milwaukee Admirals on Thursday.
During the season after morning skates after speaking with visiting NHL players, coaches and GM’s on game days, I’d head upstairs to the press box to get some early writing done before lunch. Sometimes a tour guide would bring a small group through the box as they made their way around the building.
One can only hope that next season from the start, the shrine is re-ordained and those touring Kraken fans will be able to pay their solemn, humble respects as they pass.
Bow to the Yanni.