It might be the first ever playoff series for the Seattle Kraken, but that doesn't mean they should be taken lightly — not at all, according to Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon.
“It's a really great team. This is definitely the hardest first round I've been in, I think,” MacKinnon said when asked for his biggest takeaway after three games, according to ESPN's Ryan S. Clark.
“Sometimes, the last few years, we've been the top seed and we've not gotten easy teams, by any means. But this Seattle team is a 100-point team. They're really good, and we're going to have to continue to be our best to beat them.”
MacKinnon says that no team should be underestimating the Kraken, and the Avalanche certainly haven't after spoiling Seattle's home playoff debut with a 6-4 win on Saturday night.
MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen scored two goals each, while Cale Makar added a tally in the first Stanley Cup playoff game in Climate Pledge Arena history.
It wasn't an easy victory by any means; Seattle has scored first in all three games of the series, forcing Colorado to play from behind for long stretches of the series. The Avs were ultimately able to draw on their lengthy playoff experience and battle back to win Games 2 and 3.
Colorado now holds a 2-1 series lead with an opportunity to make that a commanding one headed back to Ball Arena if they can get another road win on Monday night.
Nathan MacKinnon was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, and he's been to seven postseasons over his 10 years in Denver. The Avs have admittedly played some great teams in the first round over the past decade, including a Nashville Predators squad that won the President's Trophy in 2018.
It's a bold but respectful take from the Canadian star, who continues to lead the way for Colorado and will be laser-focused on helping his team look to take a stranglehold in the series on Monday night in Game 4.