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Kraken vs. Stars Part Deaux

Every night has playoff implications now, isn’t that fun?

Dallas Stars v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Just the Facts:

The Time: 7pm PT

The Place: Climate Pledge Arena in Beautiful Seattle, Washington

Place to Watch: ROOT Northwest, BSSWX, ESPN+ and SN+

Place to Listen: KJR 93.3fm

An Opposing Perspective: Defending Big D

Know Your Enemy:

Just yesterday @skyonair published a wonderful preview of these very same Dallas Stars. So maybe instead of repeating the same information we can have story time.

As I’ve mentioned previously, in the brief period following the departure of the Metropolitans and the arrival of the Kraken, I backed the Edmonton Oilers. This was a great decision in the 1980s and a very bad decision in every other decade since. And in the late 1990s, cheering for the Oilers meant watching them lose to the Dallas Stars in the playoffs.

Pre-salary cap, Dallas was one of the teams that could afford to get and keep star players, while Edmonton, owned by a mishmash of small local businessfolk at the time, was little more than a farm team for richer NHL clubs. Dallas was stacked with talent, with Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Joe Nieuwendyk, the amazing Sergei Zubov and the hideously ugly Derian Hatcher making up the core of a roster that won it all in 1999. The Stars swept the Oilers that year, but a couple years before that, one of the greatest upsets in playoff history occurred.

In 1997 it was a very similar matchup in terms of roster composition. The #2 seed Stars might have been looking past the 7th place Oilers toward a potential matchup against Petr Forsberg and the Colorado Avalanche, but in a classic “David & Goliath” tale, the Oilers took the Stars to seven games, and in the Stanley Cup playoffs, a win-or-go-home game can come down to a single bounce or a single play.

Doug Weight passed it up to the speedy Todd Marchant, but let me tell you, a Todd Marchant breakaway was far from a sure thing. In those days Marchant seemed to get three breakaways a night, though the price for all that god-given speed seemed to be having hands of stone. But on that night, in that moment, Marchant found a way to put it past future Hall of Famer Ed Belfour and the Oilers won the series.

Game Preview

The point of that story is two-fold. First, all you have to do is get into the playoffs and you never know where things might go. My strongly held belief is that general manager Ron Francis should have added a little more at the deadline because you just never know. And the second point is that you don’t want to face Dallas in the playoffs. It was true in the late 90s and is equally true today.

As we saw last game, the Kraken can match the Stars in many aspects of the game. But Dallas found a slight edge in their overtime victory and ultimately a playoff series might go the same way. The Stars found their way to a Cup final fairly recently and they have the pieces to do so again. Coming into this back-to-back series my hope was a split, and having one point in the bank already is promising, but I do wish we’d found a way to get the OT win.

At times I think I’d rather face this year’s version of the Colorado Avalanche before I would want to meet the Stars in the post-season. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Game Night Notes:

It’s Pride Night at the Pledge! To celebrate, the Kraken will be wearing special warmup jerseys designed by local artist Simson Chantha, which you can check out below and will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to the One Roof Foundation.

Seattle Kraken warmup jersey for pride night, with a kraken logo colored like a pride flag with hands connecting everything Seattle Kraken
Back of the Seattle Kraken Pride night jersey, with numbering colored in rainbow colors