The Kraken needed that one, and so did the folks here at Sound Of Hockey. We will explain why the victory was cathartic to us in Takeaway #3, but for the Kraken, a win against the Stars was important for several reasons.
First and foremost, standings points are still crucial for Seattle right now. There remains a long road ahead to clinching the franchise’s first playoff berth, and the team hasn’t been playing the most inspiring hockey over the last few weeks. By winning Tuesday, the Kraken are back to a six-point cushion over Calgary, the first team out of the playoff bubble, and a seven-point gap over Nashville, Seattle’s opponent for the next two games of this road trip.
It was also important because there were some little demons that seemed to be forming recently in the Kraken’s minds. The group had been struggling to close out games, and the Dallas Stars had been one of the teams that exploited that. Plus, there is a chance the Kraken could play the Stars early in the playoffs, so getting a win against that club could end up being important for the psyche at some point,
Here are our Three Takeaways from a big 5-4 Kraken overtime win against the Stars.
Takeaway #1: It wasn’t easy, but the Kraken got it done
Seattle played a good game on this night, but being able to shut teams down in the desperation six-on-five scenarios has been a thorn in the team’s side. That was the case again Tuesday, as Jamie Benn cross-checked his way to a tying goal with .7 seconds left.
We thought the Kraken had two chances to clear the zone in the dying moments of regulation; once when Matty Beniers softly rimmed the puck behind the net, and a second time when Vince Dunn tried to pass out of the zone instead of simply chipping it. The result was the Kraken again getting pinned in for way too long and the inevitable equalizer.
To their credit, the Kraken didn’t let the devastation of the buzzer-beating tying goal carry into the overtime period. And even when Dallas maintained possession of the puck for the first minute and a half of three-on-three play, the Kraken stayed structured defensively and waited for their opportunity to steal the puck. Once they finally got control, they wasted no time in sealing the win.
Recognizing that Seattle had gained possession, Adam Larsson—yes, stay-at-home defenseman Adam Larsson—quickly got behind the Dallas defense. Jared McCann saw the opportunity to spring Larsson on a breakaway and made a deft delivery off the boards and around Evgenii Dadonov. Larsson raced in and showed patience, puck protection, and his sneaky silky mitts to tuck it around goalie Jake Oettinger and send the Kraken on to Nashville in a happy mood.
Takeaway #2: An “unsung hero” kind of night
Seattle’s depth returned to take a starring role in this one, with its fourth line contributing three goals. Early in the game, Daniel Sprong—who has often been a healthy scratch lately—looked like he was tired of being a healthy scratch. He created Brandon Tanev’s first goal by poking a puck past a Dallas defender at the blue line, then hustling into the offensive zone and throwing the puck toward the net. Tanev deflected it out of the air to give the Kraken an early lead.
Sprong followed that up by showing off his deceptive shooting ability, looking off Larsson on a two-on-one, and twisting a funky-looking shot through Oettinger’s pads.
Late in the game, Tanev added his second of the night after a beautiful backhand saucer pass by Morgan Geekie.
It was a big night for that fourth line, which has been such an offensive force at times this season but cooled off recently.
Let’s not forget Kraken netminder Joey Daccord. He was called up on an emergency basis to replace Philipp Grubauer, who is recovering from illness, and given the start over Martin Jones. It was only Daccord’s second start in the NHL this season, and while he gave up four goals on 29 shots, we thought he looked really confident. There were a number of prime scoring opportunities that Daccord calmly kicked away, and he moved the puck like a true veteran.
“It was a pretty crazy 24 hours,” said Daccord. “But, just super excited when they told me I was gonna get to play right away. It just didn’t really give me any time to think, just get right in there and do it, so super fun.”
Takeaway #3: We needed that one too
We’re sure you’ve heard the tough news by now, but our good friend, Andy Eide, suffered a stroke just prior to Saturday’s game at Climate Pledge Arena. It has been a tough few days for us at Sound Of Hockey, as we’ve waited anxiously for news about Andy’s status. To say we’ve been emotional about it would be an understatement; we love Andy, and he and his kind, gentle soul do not deserve to be going through this right now.
An exciting Kraken victory gave us a brief jolt of excitement and enthusiasm and was actually quite cathartic. Seeing the team celebrate, and being able to cheer from afar gave a nice little shot of joy in an otherwise tough stretch of worry and glumness.
As long as we’re on the topic, we will never be able to thank the hockey community enough for the support and love you’ve shown for Andy over the past 36 hours or so, since the news became public. Your words have been so kind, and your donations have been beyond generous.
It has truly been overwhelming to see how many lives Andy has touched over the years. It’s a testament to how great of a guy he is, but also a reminder that the hockey community sticks together and takes care of its own.
We love you all. We love Andy. Thank you.
If you would like to donate to help Andy and his family, please visit AndyEide.com.