Olczyk: What Seattle Kraken do well that is huge in playoff hockey

Apr 7, 2023, 12:37 PM | Updated: 1:05 pm

Seattle Kraken...

Vince Dunn celebrates his goal with Adam Larsson on April 06, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

In their second year of existence, the Seattle Kraken are playoff bound.

With Seattle’s 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, the Kraken have punched their ticked to the Stanley Cup Playoffs a year after finishing with the third-worst record in the NHL.

Seattle Kraken clinch first playoff berth, beat Coyotes 4-2

While there’s obviously a ton of excitement about the Kraken’s achievement, team broadcaster Eddie Olczyk told Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Thursday that playoff hockey is a “different animal.”

A big part of playoff hockey is goaltending. And while Phillip Grubauer and Martin Jones have done enough for the Kraken to get to the postseason, neither have a save percentage over .900 this season.

“If you get it, that being goaltending, you’ve got a shot to win,” Olczyk said. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

Olcyzk said that lower-seeded teams often are able to pull off upsets more in hockey than other sports largely because of goaltending. But outside of that, there’s an area of the Kraken’s game that could bode well in a postseason run, Olczyk said.

“To me, playoff hockey becomes about managing momentum swings, and it’s how you manage the middle of the ice. And it’s the one strength of this team, the Kraken, is that they really really manage the game well,” he said. “When they are playing well, they manage the middle of the ice… When they really manage that whether they have the puck or not, they are in games, and I think that playoff hockey is like that.”

There will be times where you’re “up against it” and don’t have momentum on your side, Olcyzk said, and getting that momentum back is crucial.

“The first thing is everybody says, ‘Well, you’ve got to get the momentum back on your side.’ Well hold on a second. First off, you’ve got to stop the momentum. You’ve got to stop that tidal wave,” he said. “Now you’ve stopped it, whether it’s a big save or (the opponent) takes a penalty or whatever it is. Then when you get it back on your side, what do you do with it … And when you do have it, it’s how do you cash in?”

It all comes back to managing the middle of the ice, which Olczyk thinks is a big part of the Kraken’s game.

“For me, hockey 101 is how they play with and without the puck in the middle of the ice. And if they can, (they) play to their strength – because I think it’s one of their strengths,” he said. “Because when they play well, they’re really good at it. And when when they struggle, they try to force things and it’s a struggle for them. So that’s playoff hockey, and you’re going to have to manage those momentum swings very, very often because you just never know when it’s gonna happen. You just never know when the game or the series is going to change, and what are you going to do with (momentum) when you have it?”

Listen to the full Bump and Stacy conversation with Olczyk in the podcast below.

Seattle Kraken in Playoffs: Olczyk breaks down historic turnaround

Bump & Stacy Show

Bump and Stacy

Seattle Seahawks HC Mike Macdonald...

Zac Hereth

Bump: The great decision Seahawks’ Mike Macdonald made

Former Seattle Seahawks WR Michael Bumpus explains why Mike Macdonald's decision to cancel the final day of minicamp was a good one.

3 hours ago

Seattle Mariners first baseman Tyler Locklear...

Zac Hereth

Mariners rookie Tyler Locklear making good early impressions

The No. 94 prospect in baseball, according to Baseball American, made his major league debut for the Seattle Mariners last weekend.

3 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Seahawks OL Olu Oluwatimi on his expectations for himself this season

Seattle Seahawks OL Olu Oluwatimi joined Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost to talk about what it’s like to come back after the off-season. What keeps him ready for any situation during the game? What are his expectations for himself this upcoming season? He answers that and much more in this in-depth, in person interview. Watch […]

4 days ago

Seattle Mariners Luke Raley...

Brent Stecker

One thing Mariners excel at reveals what needs to improve

The Seattle Mariners have no problem driving up opposing pitchers' pitch counts, but it's not helping them score against starters.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Jake Bobo...

Brent Stecker

Jake Bobo: New Seahawks OC Grubb is moving all the WRs around

Wide receiver Jake Bobo says the Seattle Seahawks will be using some of their stars in ways fans aren't used to seeing under new OC Ryan Grubb.

4 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Seahawks WR Jake Bobo on what this passing game can do for this Seahawks offense

Seahawks WR Jake Bobo joined Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost to discuss how he’s doing this year, the impact of the new coaches, and what it’s like to get back on the field after his fan favorite rookie season. What goals does he have for himself the rest of this season and beyond? Watch the […]

5 days ago

Olczyk: What Seattle Kraken do well that is huge in playoff hockey