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2024 Winter Classic RECAP: Seattle makes history in 3-0 shutout WIN!

Player Photography provided by @Jennthulhu_Photos on Instagram

There was no need for Rally Fries tonight, but what the hell, get yourself some while you’re out and about. You and this team earned it.

But first, your Winter Classic Highlights!

Game Notes

  • Your TOI leader was Jamie Oleksiak, who played 26:00 minutes on the button tonight!
  • This was, no joke, probably the best game the Kraken have played all season. They were forechecking like mad, they kept Vegas well to the outside through physicality or forcing them to come get them in their end, and what few chances they had that were dangerous, the Kraken either shut them down, or trusted Joey to keep the door shut. They also did exactly what I suggested they do to win this kind of game where the ice conditions could go sideways in a hurry; they adjusted to the ice, they used their transition game to break through Vegas’ defense, and put shots on Logan Thompson from close proximity and tried to make him work for every last one of them, and it paid off big time. The Kraken responded to the moment in front of them, and made the defending Stanley Cup winners look like they’d been guzzling drinks all of yesterday.
  • Net-Front defense was absolutely killer tonight; Vegas had no real answer and whiffed on the few chances they got where it was One-on-One with the goalie. After that, all shots to the outside, all shots well seen ahead of time…if you’re gonna go make history at the Winter Classic, the smart thing to do is make it as easy as you can on your goalie, and the backcheck showed up gigantic tonight; hiccups excepted.
  • Joey Daccord planted his flag on this one in a hurry; getting the first ever shutout at a Winter Classic game, these contests are usually pretty loose with scoring either in a track-meet or blow out kind of way, but he’s built of sterner stuff and earned not only TNT’s silly MVP hot-cocoa mug, he also likely had a save of the year candidate very late in the third on Jack Eichel. He is him. He’s been him, and will continue to be him.
  • Nobody had any luck on the power play tonight, which is hardly a surprise. With the ice as squirrelly as it was by the end, some of these guys were lucky to get off passes.
  • The Atmosphere of T-Mobile Park when the home team’s winning is off the charts. It helps that the Kraken showed up as big as they did, but you could feel in real time them feeding off the energy of the building as it crescendo’d with every pass, shot, and of course, every goal. Seattle sports and entertainment figures both old and new came out to celebrate, Buoy continued his feud with Paul Bissonette, and the crowd was showering Joey with praise with pretty much every save. These guys love this city, and while they have not made it easy at all to reciprocate this year, this city will happily love them back. They just gotta hold up their end of the bargain.
  • Paul Cotter is the one person in the entire Vegas organization I feel even mildly bad for because Yanni Gourde on the game-sealing 3rd goal had him in the bowels of hell. Stripped the puck on him, ripped right past him, got the rebound while close enough to Thompson to feel his breath on his sweater all right in front of him. Otherwise, It’s rough out there in SoDo and I thought you guys were good. Stew in that 0-2 record of being outside, ya dijon mustard draped showponies.
  • I would be nicer to the Knights but they ran off the minute the game ended during an event where there’s usually a handshake line. You deserved everything you got today, you puffed up turkeys.
  • I love the Winter Classic look for this team. They just look so timeless and perfect with just enough modern accoutrements to keep it from feeling silly. What a pity then that I’m gonna have to write a little bit about a little trademark sniping that may make them playing in that sweater quite rare if they don’t figure that whole boondoggle out. 🙃
  • With this win at the Winter Classic, the Kraken are now over “NHL-.500”, and a mere one point out of a playoff spot, they also tied a franchise record of games with at least a point gotten at 9, and of course, got their 5th win in a row. They’re also a mere one point out of a playoff spot, and have a fairly soft schedule upcoming. I’m not leaving anything up to chance with this team, but if given the opportunity?…We could be looking at a much better looking record halfway through January, even if it means suffering through a couple of back-to-backs in the afternoon.

Let’s Give a Hand To…

  • Joey. Daccord. What a night for him. 35 saves, his 2nd shutout of the year, the first and only shutout of the Winter Classic and he made it look so easy the whole time. This was a star-making performance for him, and he will shine as bright as the team will let him.
  • Will Borgen! Big Billy got his first goal of the season tonight on an absolute bullet of a shot in the 2nd period, and in general had an incredible night defensively. He made Vegas’ night as miserable as he could, and he deserves that 2nd star, the Davy Jones hat, and the two beers that the Kraken PR should ABSOLUTELY GIVE BACK. BIG BILLY BORGEN DESERVES BIG BILLY BEERS.
  • Yanni Gourde! Put Paul Cotter Di-recked-ly in hell on a great steal and a real banger of a goal. He was also by far the most dangerous player on the ice for the Kraken all game; causing havoc and creating opportunities wherever he could. Excellent game for him.
  • Eeli Tolvanen! For getting this ball rolling with a real head’s up tip-in goal where he managed to worm his way past just about every Vegas defender, and a secondary assist on Borgen’s rocket. Tolvanen’s pickup probably added a number of zeroes to the money and months to the extension Ron Francis signed this offseason, though I’d imagine Bjorkstrand also contributed to it as well. Great game for him.
  • Vinnie Dunn! He’s now up to 6 points in his last 4 games, picking up an assist on Tolvanen’s opening goal.
  • The City of Seattle! For making this an unforgettable Winter Classic.
  • Jenn G! For catching that adorable picture of Dreidger and Daccord hugging it out.
  • Lookout Landing! For being such gracious hosts to our dear Kraken. We choose to assign them that honor until M’s management recognizes which division they play in and why it would behoove them to spend money.

The NaturalStatTrick.Com Charts!

Sat on Logan Thompson’s head all day and dared him to make saves. That’s what it’s all about, baby. Excellent win for these Squids.

The Kraken get a day off for rest and to make travel plans, as they have a long roadie ahead of them. But! Their send-off game is on thursday and back at Climate Pledge against the Ottawa Senators, and that game drops the puck at 7pm PT.

We will see you there, on behalf of the DJLR team we thank you for watching and listening and reading our work leading up to this game, and hope you continue to do so through the rest of the season.

And of course,

Keep Calm, and Post Zoidberg When We Win

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