Forslund: Avalanche seem ‘agitated’ by Kraken, and that’s good

Apr 20, 2023, 12:32 PM

Seattle Kraken Philipp Grubauer...

Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer defends against a shot attempt by Colorado's Bowen Byram. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Not only did the Seattle Kraken stun the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of their playoff series Tuesday night, but they may have gotten under the Avs’ skin in the process.

Salk: Seattle Kraken ‘did everything they needed’ to stun Avs in Game 1

Former Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced to lead the Kraken to a 3-1 victory on Colorado’s home ice, and when Avs star Nathan MacKinnon was asked after the game about Grubauer’s night, there were clearly some sour grapes.

According to the recap story of Game 1 from The Associated Press, when MacKinnon was asked what he saw out of Grubauer, his answer was curt.

“Nothing,” said the forward for the 2022-23 Central Division champs.

Well then.

Longtime NHL broadcaster John Forslund, the voice of the Kraken on ROOT Sports, takes that response as a positive sign for Seattle.

“You know what? That’s good,” Forslund said Wednesday when he joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob. “When people and players start to talk in any sport, that usually means they’ve been agitated, right?”

It perhaps means even more coming from MacKinnon, a two-time All-Star who has two big NHL trophies on his mantle – the Calder (best rookie), and, perhaps ironically in this instance, the Lady Byng, which goes annually to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

The fact that MacKinnon responded the way he did 10 years into his NHL career says something.

“These guys are great pros. MacKinnon’s outstanding, one of the best players in the league,” Forslund said. “He’s been around the block. He’s been asked questions before. He was frustrated by that game (Tuesday) night. He is throwing shade at Grubauer, there’s no question, but I think indirectly it just shows that there’s some agitation there, and if that shows up in top-end players or the coach – that’s why you listen to everything that’s said on the off days, you look for little things like that – it might be a crack in the seal.”

From Denver Sports: The tone of Avs-Kraken is different for Game 2

Forslund isn’t making a determination on the state of the Avs just yet, though.

“I don’t want to go there yet. This is a long series and like I said, (the Avalanche) haven’t played their best. They’re going to bring their best effort (in Game 2 Thursday) night.”

Listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation about the first Seattle Kraken playoff series in the podcast below.

Fann: Seattle Kraken can turn casual fans into diehards in playoffs

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Forslund: Avalanche seem ‘agitated’ by Kraken, and that’s good