Seattle Kraken, Dave Hakstol

Seattle Kraken Game Day: St. Louis Blues

Surprised Martin Jones gets the start for the Seattle Kraken Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues? Maybe. Against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night in the 5-1 loss, Philipp Grubauer didn’t have the softees similar to the ones Jones gave up in the home opener, but ‘Grooby’ didn’t exactly come close to stealing the game either.

At this point, the competition continues. Jones, the 32-year-old native of North Vancouver, BC, will play in his 399th NHL game while gunning for his 200th career victory. Grubauer, the 30-year-old German who has better overall stop statistics in 120 less games, plus a Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018, appeared to be the favorite to be the number one netminder when the season started.

That remains to be seen.

Kraken Schwartzy’s Past

Due to injury, Jaden Schwartz missed the opportunity to play for the Kraken against his former club, the St. Louis Blues, last season. He finally gets that chance on Wednesday night.

“It’ll be exciting, definitely a lot of emotion,” Schwartz said Wednesday morning. “Fun seeing them, but once the puck drops it’s any other game, it’s business for both sides tying to get the win. It’ll be a good challenge for us.”

St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube had nothing but admiration for his former forward, a center who led the club in playoff goal scoring in route to the 2019 Stanley Cup. Schwartz was selected 14th-overall in the 2010 NHL Draft and spent the first ten years of his career with the Blues before signing with the Kraken.

“Too bad he was hurt, we love Schwartzy,” Berube said, “he was a real good player for us for a long time. Great teammate.”

Berube added that he was happy to see Schwartz healthy again and able to play.

National TV

The Blues / Kraken game will be televised on TNT Sports nationally in the US as opposed to on the regional outlets. I ran into game producer Joe Whelan after the morning skate, probably the best producer in the biz in terms of finding and utilizing unique and effective replays. “Whale” spent much of his career producing games for the New York Rangers on MSG Network.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.