Kraken go deep again in 7-3 rout of Blackhawks (AUDIO)

Chicago Blackhawks v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 08: Yanni Gourde #37 of the Seattle Kraken scores a goal against Petr Mrazek #34 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Climate Pledge Arena on April 08, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Tapping into offensive depth once again, the Seattle Kraken routed the Chicago Blackhawks in a 7-3 victory on Saturday before a sellout crowd at Climate Pledge Arena. 

Already in control of their destiny, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Kraken seized no worse than the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, which sets up a matchup as of now with the Colorado Avalanche. 

“We talked about what we had in our control today,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “The two points takes care of solidifying the wild card spot.” 


Matchups are still unconfirmed though in a tight Central Division race and the Kraken are now two points back of the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division. 

Guess what? The Kraken got their offense from another display of depth. Seven different players scored, including Eeli Tolvanen, Jordan Eberle, Yanni Gourde, Adam Larsson, Daniel Sprong, Jared McCann, and Morgan Geekie. 


1.     This wasn’t going to be the prettiest win, but still effective. The energy was different at puck drop compared to Thursday night. The Kraken had their destiny sealed, and the Blackhawks (who the Kraken scored 19 goals against in three games) have long known of their fate. Loose play with the puck was almost a foregone conclusion, and maybe a 10-goal night for both teams (while expected) was still a little low as compared to other benchmarks (Hello, 8-5? Hello, 9-8?). Petr Mrazek, lit up for four goals on five shots in the last meeting, gave up a 1-0 on the Kraken second shot of the night. 

The Kraken at one point were on pace for nine goals, getting to three with an Eeli Tolvanen snipe off the rush that appeared too easy. Chicago answered less than a minute later. Adam Larsson was sprung from the box and unleashed a video game, head fake deke breakaway goal that channeled his inner Cale Makar. 

“That’s what ever guy dreams of, coming out of the penalty box,” said Larsson. “Great play by ‘Canner,’ and I knew right away what I was going to do.” 

While the Kraken built a 4-1 lead that would put them ahead for good, the Blackhawks, who led in high danger chances (five-on-five) at 7-5, still mounted one final push that was officially squashed on Jujhar Khaira’s goal that was wiped off the board for an offside review. 

“Those guys have done a good job all year, they’re on top of that stuff before the play is even ten feet over the line,” said Hakstol, crediting video coaches Brady Morgan and Tim Ohashi. 

Chalk it up to another work of art offensively, where the Kraken hung seven goals on an opponent for the seventh time this season, though the entire body of work had its aesthetic flaws. It still mounted up to the 45th win of the season, where the Kraken are now two points back of Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division.  

“There were sloppy portions of the game,” said Hakstol. “That was inherent coming off a big win the other night. You can talk yourself out of it as much as you want, but in reality, it looked like some of that leaked into our game.” 

2.     Martin Jones’ timeline to return is uncertain, but you hope for the best: In the second period during the final minute, Jones took a shot off his catching hand from Boris Katchouk that left the veteran goaltender visibly wincing in pain. Jones was able to finish the second period, but unable to return and was not seen on the bench while Philipp Grubauer took over to make 11 saves. 

No update was available on Jones at the end of the night. 

To have one goaltender locked in for Stanley Cup Playoff time is a bare minimum for success. To have two goaltenders locked in is an advantage. While Jones’ numbers have declined since his wildly successful November, he’s found a recent rebound over the previous three games and still boasts an ultimate number of team value: 27 wins, tied for second in the NHL. He will be a valuable for depth come playoff time, if available, while the news is still pending on his status. 

“That’s not an easy spot to be in,” said Hakstol. 

“He did a good job, going in calm, and keeping things settled down.” 

3.     It’s not a matter of it, but when, Jared McCann hits 40 goals: And reaching that benchmark will put him in a class with household names, as he turns into a Seattle household name. Another snipe from the right circle in the third period put McCann one goal away from a plateau that the likes of Matthew Tkachuk, Timo Meier, Jack Hughes, Jason Robertson, Alex Ovechkin and more (some guy named McDavid has 64) have reached this season. To hit 40 goals screams a status of not just a “go-to” guy, but elite level offensive threat. Remember, he’s in year one of a five-year contract extension, and has turned into one of Ron Francis’ most prolific transactions in Kraken history. 

His linemates, Matty Beniers (23 goals) and Jordan Eberle (20 goals) are a part of a five-man 20-goal club that is growing and will become a major impact storyline for the Kraken in the postseason. Where this line goes, the Kraken will go. 

“I owe a lot of my success to them,” Jared McCann told 93.3 KJR-FM after the game. 

“I want to win a Stanley Cup. Your time in this league goes by so quickly.” 

McCann is likely to hit the mark over the next three games, either Monday at Arizona or against Vegas on Tuesday or Thursday. 

Three games remain until the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Up next: a Monday date with the host Arizona Coyotes at 7pm PT (93.3 KJR-FM / Kraken Audio Network) at Mullett Arena. 




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