NHL Odds, Preview, Pick: Islanders vs. Kraken (January 1)
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Islanders vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Seattle Kraken have started to look more like the team most expected of late, posting a record of just 3-7-1 over the last 11 contests including an embarrassing 7-2 defeat at home to the Oilers Friday.
The Kraken will look to turn the tides Sunday against a New York Islanders team which enters in strong form, having won the last three contests in dominant fashion.
Will Seattle put a halt to its tumble down the standings Sunday at home? We break down the NHL odds in our Islanders vs. Kraken preview, including our betting pick.
The Islanders Have Woken Up
A 5-4 loss on the road in Arizona seems to have been taken as somewhat of a wake-up call for the Islanders, who have snapped out of a somewhat lengthy lull with a 4-1-1 tear.
Throughout that run, the Isles own a +9 goal differential and played notably strong contests versus the Panthers, Penguins and Blue Jackets over this last three-game win streak.
The Islanders will be missing Cal Clutterbuck, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Kyle Palmieri up front from their forward corps, which could potentially be a small part of this games surprising pricing.
However that still leaves all of the Islanders’ most crucial offensive play-drivers up front in the lineup, and it’s very realistic the Islanders can still continue to succeed offensively without those bodies in the lineup.
Over the last six games, the Islanders own a 54.13% expected goals share, which is an extremely dangerous mark when you are icing one of the very best netminders in the world.
Ilya Sorokin has played to a +18.8 goals saved above expected rating with a .926 save % throughout 27 games played. He has started five consecutive games with regular backup Semyon Varlamov injured, so it is possible the Islanders will finally sit Sorokin again in favor of Cory Schneider Sunday.
Schneider starting over Sorokin would move the needle significantly from a handicapping standpoint, so keeping a close eye on that situation prior to puck drop is important.
Kraken Approaching Rock Bottom?
Seattle’s recent tumble down the standings runs exactly in line with its underlying numbers, as the Kraken’s play has analytically fallen off a cliff.
Seattle owns just a 43.93% expected goals share over its last ten games, which has led to a goal differential of -8.
The Kraken hold little in the way of true game-breaking talent and are not likely to outscore expected marks too often. The goaltending tandem of Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer does not inspire confidence, either.
Jones will likely start this game, as Philipp Grubauer started Friday and had a disastrous outing.
Jones has played to a -3.5 GSAx rating with an .886 save % throughout 24 games played this season. An uptick from those results does not seem likely considering Jones recent NHL history, and the Kraken will be fighting an uphill battle most nights due to its notably poor goaltending duo.
With shaky goaltending and few offensive stars to steal goals against the run of play, Seattle is unlikely to find much success on nights when it does not control play at an above average clip.
Islanders vs. Kraken Pick
New York has put together three very impressive performances in a row and should be well situated to carry on more of that play despite being priced as a slight underdog in this spot.
Seattle’s control over the overall run of play has trended downwards significantly, and the Kraken rarely project as a side to steal many points in contests where it generates less scoring chances than its opponent.
New York has gone 9-6-1 versus the Western Conference and 6-0-0 versus the Pacific this season, while the Kraken own a record of just 6-6-0 versus the Eastern Conference.
I believe there is actually some meaning to that trend, as the East is significantly stronger than the West this season, and therefore, middle of the pack East sides can often be undervalued in these types of spots.
Ilya Sorokin offers a gigantic edge in goal over Martin Jones, and considering the fact that New York has displayed more effective play as a team lately and that they will own a goaltending edge, a price of +106 to back the Islanders holds strong value.
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