That, ah, wasn’t the best time.
Seattle was shut out for the third time this season, ending their hopes of the first 3-game win streak in franchise history and also ending the “undefeated in the team dog” era after just four days. We’re going to search for some good things to take away from this one, but be warned: we’re probably going to fail.
Don’t let the Blues mount a comeback
St. Louis has the most wins after allowing the first goal in the entire NHL this season with 13. The last time these teams met was one of them. Seattle got on the board first two weeks back, but a couple third period goals gave the Blues a comeback win. This time it would be different.
The Kraken got the first power play of the game, but in order to avoid the dreaded Blues comeback, smartly allowed a shorthanded goal from Tyler Bozak.
The forwards all got caught puck-watching deep in the offensive zone, leaving Dunn alone to defend the 2-on-1. Despite his best efforts, the pass from Brandon Saad made it through to Bozak, and Joey Daccord never stood a chance. Another early goal allowed by Seattle, but still plenty of time to get back in this one.
Play a solid 5-on-5 game
Seattle didn’t allow a goal at 5-on-5 for the first 40 minutes of this contest — that’s good! The majority of a hockey game is played at 5-on-5, and it’s important to be good there. Even so, special teams can occasionally make all the difference in a game. After allowing the shorty to Bozak, Seattle promply let in a power play goal to Brayden Schenn while Adam Larsson was in the box for flipping the puck over the glass.
The Kraken have the 21st ranked penalty kill unit by PK% but it’s even worse by some advanced metrics. They’re 23rd in goals allowed per 60 minutes and 27th in expected goals allowed per 60 when down a man, per Evolving Wild. That means they’re allowing a ton of high-danger chances on the penalty kill, relative to the rest of the league — not ideal for a team that’s supposed to be defensive-minded.
The 5-on-5 play though in this game was at least better than the special teams play — Seattle had 19 shot attempts to the Blues’ 18 after two periods of play.
Ryan Donato still has a head
This is unequivocally good news. Midway through the second period, the Kraken had a good opportunity to get back into this one as Mason Appleton led a rush into the offensive zone while the Blues were caught on a long line change. He dropped it back to Ryan Donato, the man who is least afraid to sling the puck at the net among Seattle forwards, who did manage to put one on net, dropping to one knee in the process. Robert Bortuzzo proceeded to hit him late and high, sending Donato spinning across the ice.
The hit on Donato by Bortuzzo pic.twitter.com/wtdbVuz2TN— Davy Jones' Locker Room (@DavyJonesLR) January 22, 2022
Donato got up immediately, incensed, searching for the guy who hit him, and that’s the best news from this play. He’s just fine. Bortuzzo received a 2-minute charging penalty on the play, and the Kraken would generate some legitimately good chances on the ensuing power play, but goaltender Ville Husso stood strong.
Joey Daccord is flexible
Joey Daccord got his third start of the season and made some really great saves to keep Seattle in it for as long as they were. He made several nice glove saves and stopped a tough move by Saad all alone in front of the net, but it was this pad save against Ryan O’Reilly that really stands out as his best of the night.
My groin hurts watching that one but my heart feels great. Seattle’s goaltending tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger was reason for excitement in the offseason, but let’s not sleep on Daccord. He’s performed admirably in his time with the club, even if he did “technically” allow five goals tonight. Even the team, though, admitted that they didn’t do him any favors.
Eberle: "We hung Joey [Daccord] out to dry on quite a few plays." pic.twitter.com/3QIshW0DKW— Emerald City Hockey (@EmeraldCityHky) January 22, 2022
Don’t give up an empty net goal
Seattle did manage to keep the Blues form completing the team version of the Mario Lemieux “5 goals in 5 ways.” The Blues got their first even strength goal just 24 seconds into the third period on a goal from Pavel Buchnevich. This was another that came from a cross-ice pass that Daccord never really stood much chance against.
Then, 7 minutes later, the Blues notched their fourth goal of the night, in a fourth different manner. This one was the rarest of them all, too: a penalty shot. The thing that really sucks about this is that Jordan Eberle — who definitely hooked Colton Parayko trying to stop his breakaway — didn’t get enough of him to even stop Parayko from making a good move and getting a shot on net. And Daccord made another phenomenal save on that one too! But Parayko was awarded a penalty shot for his efforts, and Daccord couldn’t make the save this time.
The good news is the Kraken did not allow an empty netter, as they were never really close enough to pull Daccord to try to get back into the game. The fifth goal for St. Louis was just another plain-old even strength goal from Jordan Kyrou where no Kraken defender was within 10 feet.
The Kraken will look to build off of these good takeaways this Sunday against the Florida Panthers, who they did beat the last time they played them in Florida. Let’s hope the result is the same in Seattle.