As the NHL season continues, hockey fans around the world eagerly turn their attention to the Stanley Cup playoffs, where the top teams in the league battle it out for the ultimate prize in professional hockey. However, this year, there is a new team in the mix: the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken, who joined the league as an expansion team in 2021, have already made a splash with their unique branding and strong fanbase. But now, the real test begins as they take on the challenge of contending for the Stanley Cup.
With an exciting mix of veteran players and rising stars, the Kraken have quickly become a team to watch in the NHL. But what exactly are their strengths and weaknesses, and how do they measure up against the other top contenders in the league? In this article, we will take a closer look at the Seattle Kraken and analyze their chances of making a deep run in the playoffs.
Building a Strong Foundation
From the very beginning, the Kraken have been a team focused on building a solid foundation for long-term success. This was evident in their expansion draft, in which they strategically chose a mix of experienced players and talented prospects. Their inaugural head coach, Dave Hakstol, also has a strong record of developing young players and building winning teams.
One of the Seattle Kraken biggest strengths is their defensive core, which is anchored by star defenseman and team captain Mark Giordano. Giordano, a former Norris Trophy winner, brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the team. He is joined by a mix of veteran defensemen such as Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, and Carson Soucy, as well as younger players like Vince Dunn and Gavin Bayreuther.
In addition to their strong defense, the Kraken also boast a deep group of forwards. Led by established scorers like Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle, as well as rising stars like Calle Jarnkrok and Jared McCann, the Kraken’s offense has the potential to be a force to be reckoned with. And with quality goaltending from a tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger, the Kraken have a well-rounded team that can compete with the best in the league.
Challenges for the Kraken
Despite their promising roster, the Kraken face several challenges as they contend for the Stanley Cup. One of the biggest obstacles they face is their relative lack of experience as a team. Unlike other teams that have been together for years, the Kraken are a brand new team, and it may take time for them to develop the chemistry and cohesion necessary for playoff success.
Another challenge for the Kraken is their schedule. As a new team, they will face the added pressure of playing in one of the toughest divisions in the NHL, the Pacific Division. Teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and the Edmonton Oilers will provide a tough test for the Kraken, and they will need to find ways to consistently win against these top opponents.
In addition, the Kraken will face the added pressure of playing in their own city for the first time. With a passionate fanbase and high expectations, there will certainly be a lot of hype surrounding the team. While this can be positive in terms of support, it can also add extra pressure on the players to perform.
Overcoming the Challenges
Despite these challenges, the Kraken have a number of factors working in their favor. For one, they will have the entire season to bond and gel as a team, giving them time to develop the chemistry needed for playoff success. Furthermore, their schedule will also include games against some weaker teams, providing them with opportunities to build confidence and momentum.
In addition, the Kraken also have a talented and experienced coaching staff, led by general manager Ron Francis and head coach Dave Hakstol. Both have a track record of success and are known for their ability to build strong teams. With this leadership and guidance, the Kraken have the potential to overcome their challenges and make a strong run in the playoffs.