In 2023, a brand-new Stanley Cup winner will be crowned.
In Game 7 of their first-round series, the Seattle Kraken defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-1, eliminating the defending champions and winning the second-year team’s first playoff series.
Seattle hung on after Seattle’s Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice in a four-minute span to give the Kraken a 2-0 lead in the second period. Late in the second, Mikko Rantanen scored on a power play to cut the deficit in half, but Colorado was unable to close the gap. Nathan MacKinnon scored in the third period to tie the score at 2, but a review determined the play to be offside.
As the first defending champions to lose in the first round since the Blues were defeated by the Vancouver Canucks in the Edmonton bubble in 2020, the Avalanche made the following mistakes:
This year’s avalanches weren’t as deep.
Due to an injury, captain Gabriel Landeskog has missed the entire season. Because the Avalanche couldn’t pay for Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky under the salary cap, they left in free agency. Last year, those three scored a combined 80 goals during the regular season and 21 more during the postseason. Valeri Nichushkin, a forward, has missed five games. Due to a suspension, No. 1 defenseman Cale Makar was unable to play in Game 5. Due to a neck injury, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano both missed Game 7.
The Kraken had balanced scoring while Avalanche did not
Only six people have scored that many goals, and while Rantanen (seven goals) and Nathan MacKinnon (three) contributed, no one else had more than one goal. There are 15 different goal scorers for the Kraken. Jared McCann, who scored 40 goals during the regular season, is not included. Tye Kartye made his NHL debut and scored in Game 4 when he got injured.
Avs had to play catch-up.
Every game of the series began with a goal from the Kraken. Despite the Avalanche’s considerable firepower, this is not a winning strategy.
Philipp Grubauer of the Kraken performed well against his former squad.
Grubauer spent three years with the Avalanche before signing with the Kraken as a free agency in 2021. Since then, he has mostly struggled (.891 regular-season save % in two seasons), but he was good in this series and outstanding in Game 7. In the first period, when the Avalanche made a strong push and gave his team a chance to win, he particularly stood on his head.