The Need to Knows
The Time: 7:00 pm PT / 10:00 pm ET
The Place: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
Where to watch: ROOT NW, ALT, TNT
Where to listen: KJR 93.3 FM
What happened last time: Game 5 recap
Earlier in the series, the Kraken Twitter account posted a breathing exercise mid-game. I urge everyone reading this to keep it in your back pocket for the rest of the day. You’re going to need it. Why?
Oh, no big reason. It’s just that the Kraken could advance to the second round. At home. While eliminating the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Jordan Eberle had said in his Game 4 post-game conference about the team joking at morning skate about how that would be the biggest game in franchise history. That aged like milk, because Game 6 has the potential to take the crown.
Now, one thing the Avalanche will have in this game that they didn’t in Game 5 is defenseman Cale Makar. After serving his one-game suspension for interference against Jared McCann, he’ll slot back into the lineup. Now, I don’t think his return is going to tilt the ice completely back into Colorado’s favor. After all, the Kraken have spent more time controlling the pace of play than the Avalanche have — even when Makar’s been in the lineup. When watching this series, it feels like the only reason Colorado has two wins is because of brief moments where their star players suddenly take over for a shift or two. Those stars, like Makar, haven’t been able to fully take over the pace of an entire game, though.
At this point, the Kraken need to just keep playing their game. They need to keep attacking in waves and using their depth and tenacity to keep wearing down an Avalanche team that, frankly, was probably already exhausted coming into the playoffs. The early (and clearly premature) concern that not all the lines were scoring enough has fixed itself. Philipp Grubauer continues to prove himself as the goaltender Seattle was looking for when they signed him.
Now, it’s just about finishing the job. Because of the series lead, the Kraken have the wiggle-room to lose Game 6 and still advance in Game 7, but I’d rather they get it done sooner than later. Why? Because the Kraken fanbase deserves to see this moment on home ice. There is no better feeling than watching your team advance at home. It feels even sweeter when it happens against the defending champs. You’ll find yourself dancing in the stands, not wanting to go home, and buoyed by this feeling that maybe, just maybe, your little underdog team could go all the way. I experienced that myself recently on a different sports team’s run, and I want every Kraken fan in Seattle to have their turn.
So just remember: breathe in, breathe out.