Hockey 101: What you need to know to cheer on the Seattle Kraken

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Unleashing the Kraken brings the NHL to the Pacific Northwest with a team that's selling merchandise at a rapid pace and should contend right away like Vegas did. Seattle would have to reach the Stanley Cup Final to match the Golden Knights.

The two teams that get to the final will again go the traditional way through the Eastern or Western Conference, after the 56-game 2021 season was played entirely within four divisions until the semifinals. Cross-border play is back, too, and every team is scheduled to play the other 31 at least twice — once at home and on the road.

Those games will air on ESPN's networks, ABC and TNT in the U.S. in the first season of a new TV deal. Puck movement will be tracked with microchips for the first time, opening the door for a Zamboni load of new data and gambling opportunities.

Barring a turn for the worse by the pandemic, the league will take a three-week break in February for players to participate in the Olympics for the first time since 2014.

SEATTLE–You may have heard by now, but there’s an NHL team in the state.

So, whether you’re new to hockey or just need to brush up on your talking points, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s what you need to know to impress your friends at your next Kraken watch party.

The basic basics

The goal (pun intended) is for the six players on the ice to score as much as they can. Your lineup includes three forwards, two defencemen and your goaltender, also known as the goalie.

What it takes to win

In a regular game, the team that scored the most points over three 20- minute periods is the winner. Easy enough, right? Then let’s talk about overtime.

During the regular season, overtime is an extra five-minute period. Each team only gets three skaters and their goalie. The first team to shoot and score wins. When it comes to the Stanley Cup playoffs, things get a little different in OT, but we can talk about that when the Kraken get there.


A faceoff marks the start of the game, a period or play. It’s when a ref drops the puck on the ice and the players scramble to get it.

To the penalty box

Hockey has a bit of a reputation for being a little rough. But, there are consequences for players if the gloves come off.

Two minutes is the most common penalty time. The clock doesn’t have to stop there. Players can also get penalties for four, five, and 10 minutes.

While a player is doing their time in the penalty box, the other team has more skaters on the ice. This advantage is a power play.

RELATED: Full roster of Seattle Kraken 2021 expansion draft is up

Kraken games or watch parties aren’t the only places you can test your hockey knowledge. It can be used right here while you cheer on the Spokane Chiefs. You can find more information on their games here.