Your donation will support the student journalists of Kirkwood High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.
Wednesday October 19th. St. Louis Blues at Seattle Kraken
October 25, 2022
Final Score: St. Louis Blues: four – Seattle Kraken: three
The St. Louis Blues returned to the city of emeralds for a showdown with former teammates Jaden Schwartz and Vince Dunn. Social media buzzed with speculation after star-winger Pavel Buchnevich left the ice early during Wednesday’s morning skate. The Blues’ odds slipped significantly after Head Coach Craig Berube announced that he would be sitting Pavel Buchnevich and substituting him for newly acquired forward Josh Leivo. After some friendly chirping at warm-ups, the Blues hit the ice to conquer the Kraken.
The Blues looked strong defensively in the opening minutes, supplemented by strong play from defenseman Justin Faulk. The game opened up offensively after star-winger Jordan Kyrou placed a snapshot just above goaltender Martin Jones’ blocker side, giving the Blues an early lead. The Kraken got their revenge on Jordan Binnington late in the period, after young center Will Borgen got a breakaway that Binnington initially stopped. Borgen scored after pounding away at Binnington’s pads, tying it up for the Kraken. Goals from Brayden Schenn and Justin Faulk in the middle-minutes sent Seattle head coach Dave Hakstol into a frenzy. The Blues isolated most of the Kraken’s chances towards the later minutes of the period, but wasted a number of power play opportunities with poor-blueline work. Overall solid work in the first period. 3-1, good guys.
The Blues looked sloppy this period, and couldn’t stop the rush from the Kraken at the blue line. Torey Krug hung Jordan Binnington out to dry after lapsing coverage on a fast-moving Alex Wennenberg, who set Adam Larsson up for a perfectly-placed shot on Binnington’s blocker side. The Blues looked to settle the score at the end of the period, as it got increasingly more physical. Rookie Jake Neighbours made himself known after putting the body on fellow rookie Matty Beniers, much to the chagrin of the Seattle bench. The Blues would end the period frustrated as they gave up yet another chance to a charging Joonas Donskoi. 3-3 at the buzzer.
The Blues engaged in a defensive struggle with the Kraken for the rest of the game. Defensive lapses from Robert Bortuzzo and Torey Krug hung Jordan Binnington out to dry for a second straight period. Human frankenstein Colton Parayko looked solid, but the real star in the third period was Jordan Binnington. Stopping multiple chances from a freshly motivated Seattle offense. Binnington looked sharp in the crease even without the support of his blueline. The Blues didn’t generate much offense in the third, and the game went to extra minutes.
The Blues struggled in the first minute, but quickly turned their lines over to get into the Kraken zone for some phenomenal chances. Their effort was rewarded when serial-passer Vladimir Tarasenko gave a waiting Justin Faulk a saucer pass from in front of the net. Martin Jones was singed by Justin Faulk’s laser, winning the game for the Blues in overtime. The Blues are now 2-0 on the season.
Defense, Defense, Defense:
The Blues would’ve lost if they hadn’t played the Kraken. The defensive lapses that saw the sea monsters score their second and third goals were inexcusable. Torey Krug looks lost on the ice, and Robert Bortuzzo is practically benched with how little ice-time Craig Berube is allowing him. Things need to change, and soon.
He’s Still Our Guy:
Despite the issue with defense, Justin Faulk still played like a stud. His two goals give him good prospects for his offensive game this season, and he managed to make his zone-entry play stand-out despite the poor circumstances for the blueline. Faulk is proving to fans and coaches alike that he’s still our guy.
The Grim Reaper Reaps Redemption:
Jordan Binnington received… feedback… when he posted a picture of the Grim Reaper on his goalie mask for this season. However, his play has received immense praise. He stood on his head in the crease despite being hung out to dry by the defense, and his play single-handedly saved the Blues from surefire failure. He’s on the highway to redemption.
Blues bits three stars of the game
First Star: Justin Faulk – 2G, GWG
Second Star: Jordan Binnington – .914 SVG%, 32 Saves
Third Star: Vladimir Tarasenko – 3A