‘New kids on the block’ defeat reigning Stanley Cup champions


Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard shoots on Philip Grubauer.

There will be a new Stanley Cup Champion in 2023. The Seattle Kraken, in their first ever playoff appearance, defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Sunday night to win the series in seven games. The Kraken are in their second season. After missing the playoffs last year, they made it in year two. They went head to head with the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, scoring first in every game. “A great accomplishment,” said Kraken forward Yanni Gourde. “Our fans have been amazing. They deserve this.” It was a statement win for the Kraken, who have cemented their place in the league. Grubauer was terrific, making 33 saves in the game seven clincher. Oliver Bjorkstrand had both Seattle goals. “I didn’t want to go out and not be able to sleep at night because I didn’t perform well,” Bjorkstrand explained. “Some nights you just kind of feel the puck better and I feel like this is just one of those nights.”

Seattle had more depth than Colorado, They played well and used every man they had. They didn’t rely too much on two or three players to provide the scoring. They had four lines rolling and were able to shut down Colorado. For the Avalanche, they will begin the offseason with several changes to make. They had a good regular season, but need more depth to win. Last year they won on their all out offensive style. Without several top players who left last offseason or are hurt, they needed to play more defensively. They missed Gabriel Landeskog for the entire playoffs. Valeri Nickushkin and Cale Makar also missed time. They will need more depth and have to stay healthier in order to get another shot at the cup. “This is a really good hockey team,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “The one thing they weren’t in the series was consistent.”

The Kraken will take on the Dallas Stars in the second round. Dallas defeated Minnesota four games to two in the opening round. They shut down Minnesota’s top players Kirill Kaprisov and Matt Boldy. Goaltender Jake Oettinger was superb and forward Roope Hintz led all players in scoring with 12 points. The series will begin later this week with the winner advancing to the western conference finals.