Growing up in Western Washington, hockey was not part of my childhood. The closest NHL team was in a different country, and the nearest rink was more than an hour’s drive away.  

I did not skate and still have not strapped on skates in my 39 years on Earth. I played baseball, and that was about it.  

I write about sports for a living but have no idea how to explain icing or had no clue the puck was called a biscuit until I Googled hockey terms on Tuesday. 

If I’m lucky, I can maybe name about three current NHL players. Is Wayne Gretzky still in the league? How about Mario Lemieux?

I have never watched an entire NHL game on television and have never been to a game in person. However, I have been told nothing beats seeing a game in person. 

My only taste of hockey has been covering Kodiak Hockey League games and interviewing the former NHL players who have visited The Rock for clinics.

I’m confident readers can tell my lack of hockey knowledge when reading my hockey coverage.  

Day 1 of my hockey fandom started on Tuesday when the Seattle Kraken debuted as the newest NHL team. Of course, being a Seattle sports fan, I’m obligated to root for any team that resides in the Emerald City. So, I’m all in. 

The Kraken fell to Vegas 4-3 in their opener. The team went down 3-0 then hit a 3-run home run in the late innings to get back in the game. I would have brought in the high-leverage relievers to keep the game close. But hockey isn’t baseball. I’m learning. Give me time.

Apparently, Vegas’ go-ahead score should not have been allowed as the skater kicked the biscuit in with his skate. I learned that is an illegal move from the talking heads on Seattle sports radio. 

I’m excited about the next 81 games and might have to purchase some Kraken swag. The Seattle jerseys — are they called sweaters? — are absolutely stunning.   

It just so happens the Kraken’s debut season coincides with the inaugural season for Kodiak High School hockey. 

What I know about hockey here is the people involved are passionate about their sport. Hockey would have not become a high school sport if supporters and backers weren’t there. 

On Wednesday, Kodiak held its first official practice and will play its first-ever game on Oct. 28 at Homer. The Bears’ first home game is Nov. 19 against Soldotna. I have until then to expand on my hockey lingo. 

The Krakens’ arrival is a needed distraction from the Seahawks, who have fallen to 2-3 and will be without franchise quarterback Russell Wilson for the immediate future. Wilson underwent surgery on his middle finger he injured during Week 5’s loss to the Rams.

Week 6’s game at Pittsburgh will be the Seahawks’ first without Wilson since they drafted him in 2012. Wilson’s string of 165 straight games — 16 of those coming in the playoffs — will be snapped when Geno Smith gets the nod for Sunday night’s game.  

It’s not like Seattle was a playoff team with Wilson on the field this season. The defense is non-existent and gives up yards at an alarming rate. The offense struggles to sustain drives and control the time of possession. 

It’s going to be a long NFL season for Seattle fans. The Kraken will help with that. 

I sported a 12-4 record in Week 5, falling flat with the Seahawks, Panthers, Raiders and Chiefs. As a result, I moved to 53-27 overall and sit in the 94.3 percentile on ESPN’s Pigskin Pick-em game. 

 

Week 6

Tampa Bay (4-1) over Philadelphia (2-3)

Jacksonville (0-5) over Miami (1-4)

Green Bay (4-1) over Chicago (3-2)

Cincinnati (3-2) over Detroit (0-5)

Indianapolis (1-4) over Houston (1-4)

L.A. Rams (4-1) over N.Y. Giants (1-4)

Kansas City (2-3) over Washington (2-3)

Minnesota (2-3) over Carolina (3-2)

Baltimore (4-1) over L.A. Chargers (4-1)

Cleveland (3-2) over Arizona (5-0)

Denver (3-2) over Las Vegas (3-2)

Dallas (4-1) over New England (2-3)

Pittsburgh (2-3) over Seattle (2-3)

Buffalo (4-1) over Tennessee (3-2) 

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