Coming off a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night, the Kraken face the Blues for the second time this season. Host Mike Benton sets up the matchup with more insight from Everett Fitzhugh, Dave Tomlinson, and a conversation with Blues radio voice Chris Kerber - all on the latest Kraken This Morning podcast.
Some famous lyrics from a 1987 song by the Beastie Boys that you may have heard of:
“You got to fight, for your right, to parrrrrrrty …”
The Seattle Kraken partied at the end of 60 minutes on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks, a 3-2 win before a raucous Climate Pledge Arena. But Friday morning before a 7pm showdown with the St. Louis Blues, a turning point from Thursday’s victory – a fight – still resonated through the Kraken dressing room.
“It’s a huge spark,” said defenseman Vince Dunn.
Late in the second period, with the game tied and still very much in the balance, Kraken captain defenseman Mark Giordano, age 38, was stapled into the back glass by Sharks winger Adam Raska, 20.
Carson Soucy, scoring two goals along with a +3 rating as Giordano’s new defensive partner, made a straight beeline for Raska, challenging him to fight.
Before the two could drop the gloves, Giordano skated over, taking over to fight Raska himself and trading punches with the Sharks forward, playing in his fourth career NHL game.
Dunn explained the context of why the fight, 38 year old veteran versus rookie, fired up the Kraken.
“Him going after our captain, and our captain not letting that happen on the ice was really motivating for us,” said Dunn. “It’s not something ‘Gio’ wants to do every time, but there’s certain moments he likes to take control of what’s going on and wants to show not only our team, but the other team he doesn’t want to be messed with.”
“When your captain is willing to make sacrifices like these, and step up, I think the rest of the team really grasps onto that.”
The Kraken are aiming to use a moment of passion and grasp onto their first three-game win streak in franchise history, with the St. Louis Blues in their sights.
It’s the second time the Kraken meet the Blues, and the first time they’ll square off in Seattle.
The Blues won 2-1 in the first meeting eight days ago. Joey Daccord will start for the Kraken, making his first appearance since relieving Philipp Grubauer with 24 saves in a loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 6.
“He’s played well with a good amount of time in net, in the American Hockey League,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “We need him to go out and play with a lot of confidence and we’ve got to do a good job around him, giving him the structure necessary so he can go and do his job against a team that has a lot of weapons.”
Grubauer played last night and made 25 saves in the win over San Jose, and Chris Driedger is in COVID-19 protocol.
Hakstol said Jamie Oleksiak, who missed Thursday’s game with a non-COVID illness, will be re-evaluated for availability before Friday’s game. The Kraken did not hold a morning skate session and Hakstol said decisions on the lineup would be made “throughout the day.”
St. Louis, armed with the second best power play in the league at 29.5 percent, are led by speedster Jordan Kyrou’s 39 points and Ivan Barbashev’s 15 goals. The Blues now have notables David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko and mammoth 6-foot-6 defenseman Colton Parayko back from COVID-19 protocol. All sat out from the Jan. 13 game in St. Louis.
Ville Husso was seen first leaving the ice this morning after the Blues morning skate, often an indication of the starting goaltender. Blues head coach Craig Berube on Friday morning declined to confirm a starting goaltender.
Husso has a .933 save percentage in 10 games (6-2-1), making 32 saves in a win against Nashville on Monday. Stanley Cup winner Jordan Binnington last made 34 saves in a loss to Toronto on Jan. 15 and is 11-8-3 with a .906 save percentage.