Storybook nights in 4-1 Kraken win at Arizona (AUDIO)

Seattle Kraken v Arizona Coyotes

TEMPE, ARIZONA - APRIL 10: Daniel Sprong #91, winning goalie Philipp Grubauer #31 and goalie Joey Daccord #35 of the Seattle Kraken celebrate after a win against the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on April 10, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Jared McCann became the first player in Seattle Kraken history to reach the 40-goal plateau while Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves in a 4-1 victory for the Kraken over the Arizona Coyotes, who were swept in the three-game season series before 4,600 fans at Mullett Arena on Monday. 

The Kraken, winning for the fifth straight game, found the right time for McCann to uncork a new milestone on a power play goal with 5:21 left in regulation to put the contest out of reach, on a left circle snap shot past Ivan Prosvetov. 

“It’s obviously nice and something I’ve worked for,” said McCann. “Earn a spot, and it puts me in position to score. We have a lot of guys to thank for my success on this team.” 


McCann, a first round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks nine years ago, scuffled through 353 games with the Canucks, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and for about five seconds was a Toronto Maple Leaf via trade, scoring 66 goals. 

The Kraken swooped in at expansion draft time and claimed McCann. Since his arrival in Seattle: 151 games, and 67 goals. 

“Just needed a chance,” said McCann. “There’s a lot of guys in the NHL who don’t get the opportunity. Not that they don’t deserve it, that just the way it goes.” 

Oliver Bjorkstrand, celebrating his 28th birthday, became the sixth player on the Kraken to reach 20 goals. Justin Schultz and Matty Besniers also added second period markers, helping a run of four unanswered goals after Jack McBain put Arizona ahead, 1-0 at 9:22 of the first period. 


1.     Everyone got out healthy. That’s a good sign. For two previous outings won by the Kraken in lopsided fashion, 12-3 for combined goals, this had the probability of turning nasty. Vince Dunn, in the running for the Pete Muldoon Award (Team MVP) and no injuries to report, was held out of the lineup for load management. Liam O’Brien’s line was dispatched by Arizona for the opening puck drop, though no fisticuffs occurred. With 1:16 left, miniature chaos broke out with Carson Soucy and Jack McBain dropping the gloves. All emotions, but no injuries. 

For a game like this, with one team knowing their destiny versus the other knowing their fate, the potential for injuries goes sky high, and the team with everything to lose wore white jerseys. The Kraken, who could ill afford to lose Dunn, Matty Beniers, Jared McCann, etc., came out unscathed and can now focus on two games remaining for a team in a similar spot, Vegas, with more at stake. 

2.     Put the Calder Trophy debate to rest. It belongs to Matty Beniers. The beauty of debating awards lies within the opportunity to present different arguments and context. No two seasons are the same. But like Connor McDavid, who should be a unanimous winner for the Hart Trophy, the Calder Trophy for league rookie of the year belongs to Matty Beniers – and it should be a runaway vote by now. 

Wyatt Johnston in Dallas earned brief conversation for passing Beniers last month in the league rookie goal scoring race. That’s dead. Beniers now leads with 24 goals, scorching the second period with a goal off the rush and the Coyotes, who’d love the honor for one of their own, talented forward Matias Maccelli (he leads league rookies with 37 assists). Beniers and Maccelli never squared off this season until a week ago. In the battle of the Calder arguments, Beniers stung Arizona with three goals and an assist in three games. Maccelli was held without a goal, adding two assists. 

You want the Calder Trophy favorite? See the 20-year old in a Kraken jersey, wearing #10, the fastest in league history to 50 points, committing just one penalty all season, leading all league rookies in goals (24), points (57), plus-minus (+16), and is second with four game winning goals - all the while shouldering top six matchup minutes for a team ready to roll in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Forget it. It's over. Game, set, match. 

3.     Joey Daccord got the fairytale ending we were all hoping for. While the decision to start Philipp Grubauer instead of Joey Daccord for the only Kraken visit to Mullett Arena, the home of Daccord’s alma mater, left fans devoid of a former Sun Devil starting in a homecoming trip, the ending was perfect. With the Kraken up 4-1 with 1:16 to play, head coach Dave Hakstol summoned Daccord off the bench to relieve Philipp Grubauer, giving the crowd of 4,600 in the tiny, packed-in home of the Sun Devils plenty to cheer about – and a moment Daccord will never forget. 

“He’s had a huge role in growing hockey in this program and this community,” said Hakstol. “In an ideal world it would have been nice to get Joey a start, but it wasn’t right for our team."

“I’m sure it’s a real special place for him.” 

Daccord never set foot in Mullett Arena, opening this year, as a Sun Devil. But it’s a place he helped build, and is now a linchpin for program testimony as the first Arizona State alumnus to play in an NHL game, in the shared home of his alma mater and the Coyotes. Mark it down as a beautiful moment in what makes hockey, and really, sports so special. 




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