ALEXA, PLAY LITHIUM SO LOUD THE DEAD RISE FROM THEIR ETERNAL REST TO LODGE NOISE COMPLAINTS
But First, the Highlights of the Series Winner!!!:
- Your TOI leader was Adam Larsson, who played 27:37 tonight!
- This was a game stolen by two men: Philipp Grubauer and Oliver Bjorkstrand. From jump, the Avs were trying their good goddamnedest to not get eliminated, and kept the Kraken pinned in their own end for long, long stretches of game time. But in those critical moments of offensive zone time, the Kraken managed to keep Alex Georgiev honest, and got at least one lucky bounce (for once) near a goaltender that changed the whole complexion of the game. Meanwhile, Grubauer was just lights out. The opportunity to pants your old team, especially now that they’ve got all the plaudits in the world from winning the Stanley Cup, must’ve awoken something deep within dear Grubert, and he became near impossible to score on at the most critical game of the season. That’s the kind of performance that wins trophies.
- Oh video review. For most, an absolute nightmare and a destroyer of momentums. For me? VERY funny, especially when you consider what team got video review expanded not too long ago. Either way, Hakstol and company’s eagle eye probably saved the game on that offsides review, and gave the Kraken much needed life after yet another hellacious surge by the Avalanche.
- It simply doesn’t seem real, man. I’m so proud of this team for entering the most high pressure situation imaginable and coming out the other side as victors. All year long, the Kraken spent their time surprising everybody. Were they truly good? Were they just a mirage? Well, tonight we learned that what we’ve been seeing all year long is true: There are flaws to this team’s game, sure…but they are absolutely, definitively, good enough to hang around. Now, they get to keep on surprising people. You will
- The Kraken played this series about as well as you can if you wanted to beat the Avs: they managed to turn the entire game into a matchup of line for line, pairing for pairing, and depth for depth.
- Seattle did their best to frustrate Nathan MacKinnon the best they could and while he and Mikko Rantanen absolutely played like the world-beaters they are, the Kraken exploited Colorado’s lack of depth magnificently and forced those worldbeaters to have to be difference makers every time. Of the 19 goals scored by the Avalanche in this series; 13 of them came from just three players. It began to be felt right around Game 4 where the Avs suddenly began to struggle mightily to come up with offense, and the Kraken capitalized magnificently. Losing Nichushkin to uh…whatever the hell it is that’s up with him, only incentivized them to deny their depth valuable playmaking and scoring options even further, and opening chances for guys like Yanni Gourde and Oliver Bjorkstrand to slide right in.
- The other major point of strength the Kraken can point to was their defensive structure; Colorado is used to having plenty of room on the ice to start cycles, and Seattle’s game; uniquely suited towards denying time and space from the other team, made their typically high-octane offense splutter and misfire enough that the Kraken could do more than just survive, they could actively break it down and take control of play as they did in Games 4 and 5.
- Of course, it’s important to note that the Kraken had been capitalizing all series long on the Avs mistakes, starting no further than with the most important tidbit of this series: The Kraken scored first in every game; forcing the Avs to play catch-up from jump. Even in games they lost, they forced Colorado to work for it. Every inch of it.
- Obviously, we’ve got a bit of a damper from the Eberle and Makar thing, but as we’ve discussed; this was something that DoPS could’ve salvaged on their own end.
- I’m gonna keep saying it until it stops being true: Grubauer showed up huge for the Squids. A lot of people hinged Seattle’s entire postseason on him, and I’m ecstatic to say he’s keeping them well in it.
- The Avs are a great team and played great hockey. The Kraken beat them anyway. Let’s see what happens when they play another great team in Dallas.
Let’s give a hand to the following!:
- At the very top of this list, who played an absolutely mammoth game for the Kraken and was causing the Avs fits every waking second he was out on the ice, the man who scored twice and was denied many, many, more by exemplary play from Georgiev…Oliver Bjorkstrand, man. That was a game that will make fans out of anybody. Playing some of the most insane hero hockey I’ve seen all season. More blocked shots, more shots on goal, one of the few Kraken with a positive possession differential…he earned his first star and then some.
- Speaking of heroes, look no further than Philipp Grubauer, who played just about as perfect a game as you can get in the playoffs without getting a shutout. He was asked to be better than good this round against a very good team…and capped the series off with an unreal .971 SV% performance. Top. Notch. Stuff.
- While they didn’t notch a point tonight, I have to give the first line some credit; the Avs suddenly found themselves going from offense to defense when they hit the ice, and in a game Colorado was dominating like few others this year, that was valuable offensive zone time.
- This entire series is, as far as I’m concerned, the Yanni Gourde series. He was the team MVP for Round 1 as far as I’m concerned, grinding the Avs into dust game-after-game, and he capped his Game 7 off with a pair of assists to prove it. Gourde has shown some unbelievable poise in these playoffs so far, and that bodes well for a tough opponent ahead.
Let’s take a look at the Game 7 and Overall Series Gameflow charts from NaturalStatTrick.com!
The Series, in general:
The Kraken are in Round 2 now, and face a familiar and vexing foe in the Dallas Stars, who beat their first round opponent the Minnesota Wild to get here. Game One begins on Tuesday Evening at 6:30pm PT.
Celebrate, get ready for Game 1…and as always.
Keep Calm, and Post Zoidberg When We Win.