Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.
Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.
Let’s dive into the St. Louis Blues.
Are they any good?
Yeah, they’re pretty good. The Blues are currently third in the Metropolitan division, though they have admittedly played 3 more games than most of their opponents there. But still, being only one win shy of the Colorado Avalanche is no mean feat. They’re on a bit of a heater right now as well, with a 7-2-1 record over their last 10. They’re also a phenomenal home team, going 14-3-2 to this point when they play in St. Louis — that’s the second highest home win total in the entire National Hockey League, behind only the Florida Panthers.
The Blues won the Stanley Cup for the first time in their history in 2019, but haven’t quite been on the same level since. They lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, but they’re looking pretty sharp out of the gate this year and may be getting back into form now.
Who should I look out for?
- Jordan Kyrou (#25, Center) - The 23-year old Kyrou is having a breakout year for the Blues, centering a line for star right winger Vladimir Tarasenko. Kyrou has already surpassed his career high point total with 36 through 32 games — he had 35 last year in 55 games. It looks like he’ll be without Tarasenko next to him, however, as Tarasenko has been in the NHL Covid protocol for nearly a week and did not practice yesterday.
- Jordan Binnington (#50, Goaltender) - Binnington was a huge part of the Blues’ Stanley Cup run in 2019. He finished that regular season with the lowest goals against average in the NHL and carried that strong performance through the playoffs. He’s fallen a bit in production since, however, with his save percentage dropping each year to around league average. Still, on any given night he’s capable of saves like this:
Binnington with a superb kick save on Rantanen pic.twitter.com/xBkzzua85w— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) May 18, 2021
- UPDATE: Binnington is getting the night off and the Kraken will instead face backup goaltender Ville Husso. Husso only has 23 starts to his name in his short NHL career, so a good chance for Seattle to take advantage of an inexperienced goaltender.
Any Seattle ties?
Seattle forward Jaden Schwartz spent the first decade of his career with St. Louis. He scored 12 goals during their Stanley Cup run in 2019, which included one hat trick. He’ll miss the return to his old city, however, as he’s out for a few more weeks with a hand injury.
Odds & Ends
- Vince Dunn was the Kraken’s selection from St. Louis in the expansion draft. Dunn currently leads all Kraken defensemen with 14 points. He produced well in his 4 seasons with the Blues, but they had too many other defenders to hang on to. Seattle thanks them for that.
- The Blues currently have six players in Covid protocol, including some key players in Brayden Schenn, Colton Parayko, David Perron, and Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko could be eligible to play should he test negative today, but he hasn’t practiced since entering the protocol and even if healthy may miss tonight’s game. No indication has come from the league that tonight’s game could be postponed.
- Everyone knows the Vegas Golden Knights were the best expansion team in history, but did you know the St. Louis Blues were actually the first expansion team to make the Stanley Cup Finals? In 1967, the NHL doubled in size, going from six to twelve teams. The six new teams made up the Western Conference, while the old six teams made up the East — meaning one of the new expansion teams had to make the Cup finals, by virtue of how the playoffs were set up. The Blues made the finals for 3 straight years to begin their franchise, in fact, but failed to win a single game in any of them.
Tonight’s game begins at 5pm Pacific and will be broadcast on ROOT Sports NW locally and ESPN+ for out-of-market subscribers. Tune in to 950 AM KJR for the local radio broadcast; satellite radio listeners can find the game on SiriusXM channel 219.