Which teams deserve the « luck of the Irish » in stride?
On this St. Patrick’s Day, Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna decided to give some teams some Irish luck in the final weeks of the season on Daily Faceoff Live.
Mike McKenna: I’m pretty hot on the Seattle Kraken. It’s not a sexy team to choose because it’s the newest team in the NHL, but…
Frank Seravalli: They are also perhaps the luckiest.
Mike McKenna: Yeah! But I mean, a little more luck here. Think about it, they didn’t even get good goalkeepers. Jones has struggled a lot over the past month and a half, and Grubauer has taken over. He’s 5-1-1, but he only has a .902 save percentage.
But if they’re healthy, if they get Burakovsky back, if Donskoi is back, especially with the power play and how that helps, I think this team can be dangerous, and I’d like to see a little bump there -inside. I would love to see a story of a place you don’t expect. For me, it’s been the Kraken all year, I’d love to see it, and I think they just need to be a little better at home. They’ve been so good on the road, 22 of their 38 wins there. If they can be a bit better at home, get a bit more goalkeepers, they could be dangerous.
Frank Seravalli: Yeah sorry, I’m not giving the Kraken any more chances than it already had. Look at the shooting percentage for some of these guys, it’s ridiculous how out of range they should be. I think they’ve been very lucky this season, maybe not so much in the goalkeeping department, but they’ve also been pretty healthy for most of the year.
I’m going to give the Winnipeg Jets a bit of a chance. We talked about this team last year, you and I picked it to win the Stanley Cup and they missed the playoffs. I just liked the courage of the belief that they had to change coaches and otherwise bring just about everyone back. There were people banging their fists on the table saying someone had to go, Wheeler, Scheifele. They stripped Wheeler of the captaincy, and they were one of the most consistent teams in the league until mid-January, and since then the wheels have kind of gone down.
You look at their last 20 plus games, they’ve really struggled. That’s not what got them here. Connor Hellebuyck’s save percentage has plummeted, they’ve been through a 10-game streak when they’ve allowed nearly 40 goals, and I just think for a team hanging by a thread in the playoff race Western Conference playoffs, which opened the door and left a team like the Nashville Predators that sold out right away in the race, a little extra luck from the Irish might do them good come in and seal that playoff berth, though that would certainly remove quite a bit of drama from playoff chases in the West.
You can watch the full episode here…