The Seattle Kraken dropped a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal, settling for a 1-1 series split as it will now shift to Seattle for an expectedly raucous Climate Pledge Arena for a 7pm PT face-off on Saturday.
Three takeaways from the Kraken loss:
1. ANY PERCEPTIONS OF A WIDE COMPETITIVE GAP BETWEEN THE AVALANCHE AND KRAKEN HAVE BEEN ERASED. Or at least, in favor of Colorado, who earned prognostications such as “Avs in 3” before the series began. It was clear for the first 80 minutes of this round, the Kraken have been the better team at five-on-five by a mile. They have stayed out of the penalty box, pressured Colorado to defend, and continuously disrupted Colorado with little to no space. Philipp Grubauer has pulled his weight in the series, with a spectacular .947 save percentage through two games. Brandon Tanev’s shorthanded goal, following up Justin Schultz game-opening strike in the first period, sent a clear message, and forcing Colorado to high alert status in their room after the first, to make changes.
They worked afterward, but this will likely be a long series.
2. NOW, ABOUT THAT LAST HALF OF THE GAME .... Colorado was a sleeping giant. They woke up in the second period, outshot the Kraken 15-6 in the third period, and a short burst of two goals in less than a minute changed the entire game. Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar put defenseman Cale Makar on the left side, opening the door for a one-timer that was set up by Bowen Byram. It happened off a face-off win. Devon Toews scored from the right circle to put Colorado ahead for good. It happened off a face-off win.
Face-offs changed the dynamic of the game, won by Colorado at 55 percent. It changed control of the game to Colorado for good.
3. A 1-1 SERIES SPLIT IS THE LEAST YOU CAN ASK FOR. If you were told last weekend that the Kraken would take at least one game in the first two at Colorado, would you be satisfied? Mathematically, home ice advantage is on the Kraken side, who can win the series (in theory) if they win all of their home games. Of course, we know that’s a big “if,” where home ice advantage has been a volatile theory. In Stanley Cup Playoff history, teams with a 1-1 split when starting the series on the road have a win percentage of .451. Compare that to starting on the road and going down 2-0: the series win percentage is .117 (34-257).
What the Kraken have is a bank a game 1 win and of shifts to at least to give Colorado a scare, and now get their environment to play with.
KRAKEN LINEUP VS. COLORADO, GAME 1