Kraken at Blue Jackets Odds, Preview, Prediction: Seattle’s Offense Could Be Problematic for Columbus (October 16)
Sam Morris/Getty Images. Pictured: Philipp Grubauer.
Seattle Kraken at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
|Blue Jackets Odds||-105|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via <!–DraftKings–>DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Seattle Kraken head into Columbus with hopes of securing the franchise’s first-ever winning streak. In a season full of firsts for the Kraken, Seattle won their first franchise win against the Nashville Predators, 4-3, much to the dismay of the Tennessee faithful.
Coming off a dominating 8-2 victory against the Arizona Coyotes, the Columbus Blue Jackets are riding high. They hope to be more competitive this year, after finishing in the bottom five of the NHL last season.
Kraken Goaltenders are Tough to Beat
In addition to those gorgeous jerseys, there’s a lot to like from the 32nd franchise. The Emerald City team was built to defend and protect the net with top-notch goaltending. They arguably have one of the best goaltender tandems in the league in Vezina finalist Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger.
Grubauer had an astounding season last year, posting a .922 SV% and a 5.2 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). His partner, Driedger had similar numbers, with a .927 SV% and 3.0 GSAx. It’ll certainly be interesting to see who plays for this bout; since Grubauer has played both of Seattle’s games so far. Coach Dave Hakstol may look to give the Winnipeg native, Driedger, a shot for his first start.
Based on their first two games, it doesn’t look like offense will be a problem for Seattle. Jared McCann has gotten off to a hot start, and his winger, Jordan Eberle, always had a solid scoring touch. In their previous two games, the Kraken have a total of 16 high danger scoring chances, which is among the best in the league so far. While their defense struggled in the first half of their game against Vegas, it eventually seemed to find its groove. The Kraken have allowed 15 high danger scoring chances in their first two games, and it won’t be a surprise if they give teams fits moving forward.
Simmer Down on Columbus’ First Game
What a night it was for the Jackets on Thursday. From honoring their fallen goaltender, Matiss Kivlenieks, to dominating the Coyotes 8-2, Columbus has to be feeling good about itself heading into this matchup. However, I would caution not to rely on its early success too much.
Despite the high score, Columbus only had three high danger scoring chances, as well as a 33.86 xGF%, which certainly raises questions. Thursday night’s game seemed to have been a testament as to how bad Arizona is instead of how good the Jackets are.
The Blue Jackets have decent weapons up front in Oliver Bjorkstrand, Max Domi, Patrik Laine and Jakub Voracek. Defenseman Zach Werenski is as good as they come, but the rest of the defense leaves much to be desired. Columbus allowed 14 high danger scoring chances to a weak Coyotes roster, meaning goaltender Elvis Merzlikins may be the one keeping them in games. The Latvian netminder stole the show and left Thursday night with a 2.0 GSAx, stopping 36 out 38 shots.
Kraken vs. Blue Jackets Pick
While I think Thursday was an aberration for the Jackets, I do expect Merzlikins to give the Kraken headaches. However, Seattle certainly isn’t Arizona, and the weapons it has may be far too much for him in net.
With the Blue Jackets’ inability to drive play and scoring chances, I certainly see the Kraken making things easy for either Grubauer or Driedger.
I’m backing the Kraken to take this game on the road.
Pick: Seattle Kraken at -110 or better.