Kraken against avalanche odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest NHL odds here.|
The Stanley Cup favorites and the NHL’s latest expansion team will meet for the first time Friday at the Climate Pledge Arena.
The Seattle Kraken are in the midst of a six-game homestand, but haven’t been able to give their rabid fans much to cheer about. They are 3-5-0 at home so far this season and are currently mired in a four-game losing streak that keeps them in last place in the Pacific Division.
As for the Colorado Avalanche, the first bumps in the road are smoothing out now. The Avs came out of the gate 2-4-0, but have points in six of their last seven games as their powerful offense kicked in.
With Colorado appearing to score at will and Seattle unable to keep the puck out of their net, Friday’s game looks straightforward – and could offer a decent payout for daring bettors.
Kraken’s problems mainly on the net
The Kraken Brain Trust put a lot of emphasis on analytics when building their expansion roster. And while the team aren’t winning any games at the moment, some of their underlying numbers are impressive on the defensive end. Seattle has the best against Corsi by 60 minutes 5 to 5, is tied for the second best expected goal against 60 and is the third best to generate high risk scoring chances.
But the club was defeated at the net. Philipp Grubauer was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season with Colorado, but now holds the league’s worst record -12.60 above average in Seattle, where he is 4-8-1 with a percentage of stops of 0.877. And while the Kraken give up the third least high-danger scoring chances every 60 minutes, no club is worse at stopping them when they do happen. This combination leaves Seattle with the third highest allowed every 60 minutes evenly.
An early season injury to Chris Driedger left Grubauer with most of the early season load, but coach Dave Hakstol has only given Driedger one start in five games since returning to the roster. . With the Kraken in the middle of a well-spaced six-game homestand, Grubauer will likely get the green light against his former team on Friday.
Offensively, the Kraken’s front row of Jaden Schwartz, Yanni Gourde and Jordan Eberle have been productive during the current losing streak. But there hasn’t been enough secondary support to give Seattle a chance to get past their mistakes.
Avalanches take shape
Injuries have challenged the Avalanche all season. But despite the absence of key players like Nathan MacKinnon, JT Compher and Bowen Byram, Colorado has started to look like the team that entered the season as Stanley Cup favorites.
Currently on a three-game winning streak, the Avs outscored their opponents 17-5 in that streak and give the Edmonton Oilers a run for their money with their 6-for-13 power play.
Yes, two of those wins came against the Vancouver Canucks. But Seattle is in an equally vulnerable position – a fledgling group trying to get out of a difficult situation with no shared history to draw on, and with just one win in the last eight games.
At net, Darcy Kuemper was a solid replacement for Grubauer in Colorado. He’s also carrying a pretty heavy load but handling it well, going 7-4-0, save percentage of .916 and an acceptable 0.56 goals saved above par.
Kraken vs. Avalanche Pick
The Kraken and the Avalanche are two teams headed in opposite directions right now. And while Seattle’s underlying numbers may offer some hope that the tide will turn anytime soon, that is unlikely to happen against a group from Colorado who have found a smile again by winning high scoring games.
The Avs silver line of -155 suggests that Colorado’s chances of winning this game are over 60%. If that return isn’t rich enough for your blood, the puck line looks playable. Five of Colorado’s seven wins this season, including the last three, have all been two or more goals, as have Seattle’s most recent four losses.
If these trends continue, you could get a good result by leaning on the road favorite at +150 on Friday night.
To take: Avalanche (puck line +150)
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