Gameday Morning Brief – 1/13 @ St. Louis Blues

After a 4-2 loss in Dallas last night, the Kraken have now lost a franchise-high seven games in a row. It’s clear that everyone in the locker room is sick of losing. After the game, Jared McCann said, “Enough’s enough. Everybody’s getting pretty frustrated.” The Kraken won’t have to let that frustration linger for long. Less than 24 hours after leaving the ice in Dallas, McCann and his teammates will have the chance to turn their frustration into something positive against a Blues team fighting for the top spot in their division. Perhaps a chance to get right back at it will be just what the Kraken need.

Opponent Spotlight – St. Louis Blues

After a couple down seasons following their 2019 Stanley Cup win, the Blues appear to be back at the top of their game. Key cogs in their Cup run like Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jordan Binnington are back in top form, while young, skilled reinforcements Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas have established themselves as core players. At 21-10-5, the Blues rank 3rd in the Central Division standings and are well-positioned to make a playoff run. Special teams have been a considerable part of St. Louis’ success. They’re one of just two NHL teams to have a top-5 powerplay and penalty kill.

In a predicament the Kraken would recognize, the Blues are still dealing with some COVID absences. Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko, Brayden Schenn, and Scott Perunovich are all out of the lineup after being placed in protocol last week.

Three Keys

  1. Stay out of the box – The Blues have the second-highest powerplay percentage in the NHL at 30.1%. With the 9th-worst PK in the league, the Kraken can’t afford to give the Blues too many chances with the extra man.
  2. Match their physicality – The Blues are a physical team. Seattle has the size to go toe-to-toe with them in the corners and in front of the net. But it’s one thing to be able to do it and another thing entirely to do it, even when you have tired legs. Having the will to go to the difficult areas despite being on the second half of back-to-backs will be key.
  3. Bother Binnington – As this is being written, it’s unknown who will get the start for the Blues tonight. But if regular starter Jordan Binnington plays, getting in and around his goal crease will be key for two reasons. First, Binnington is rarely beaten when he can see a shot clearly. Second, he’s known to have a temper and can get thrown off his game if you get under his skin.

Did You Know…

Today’s Blues memory is from Game 1 of the 2013 first round playoff series between the Blues and defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. It appeared the Kings were on their way to winning the opening game of the series after the Blues were handed a four minute double-minor high-sticking penalty in overtime. But a costly miscue by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick led to this memorable overtime winner:

ECH Postgame Live

Join us after the game for ECH Postgame Live! After every Kraken game this season, RJ and Dylan will do a live postgame show on the Emerald City Hockey YouTube Channel. ECH Postgame live will include a postgame wrap-up, analysis, and a live Q&A with viewers. Join the community of Kraken fans who tune in after the game to talk Kraken hockey!

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