Monday NHL Odds, Preview and Prediction for Blackhawks vs. Kraken
Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Dominik Kubalik
- The Seattle Kraken have lost nine games in a row, while the Chicago Blackhawks are streaking in the other direction with four wins on the spin.
- Despite that, oddsmakers have this game as a pick'em on Monday afternoon.
Blackhawks vs. Kraken Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-115o / -105u)|
|Time||5 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Seattle Kraken are looking to avoid losing a 10th straight game when they take on a Blackhawks team that is playing the best hockey that they’ve played all season.
The Blackhawks are now riding a four game win streak and Marc-Andre Fleury is looking to follow up on his 37-save shutout performance in their last contest.
Chicago won the last meeting between these two teams by a score of 4-2 on Nov. 17 and the Kraken have won just six games since then.
Can Chicago Keep Rolling?
The roller coaster season continues for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Although it is very unlikely this team can claw its way into the playoff mix, Chicago is not buried just yet. Trailing the Sharks by seven points for the last spot in the Western Conference, the Hawks will need to keep stringing together results to stay afloat.
Coming into the season, the prevailing thought around Chicago was that if it could fix its defense, the Blackhawks could make some noise. Despite an improved defense, Chicago has still struggled this season thanks to an offense that is generating the fewest high-danger chances per game at 5-on-5 and is scoring the third-fewest goals per game.
Aside from Patrick Kane, who has 9 goals and 25 assists in 34 games, and Alex DeBrincat with 9 goals and 32 assists, nobody else is really producing consistently. To make matters worse, Chicago will likely be without Seth Jones, Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome for this contest.
A big part of Chicago’s mini-resurgence has been the improved play of Marc-Andre Fleury. Although his -5 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) is ugly, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner has allowed just five goals in his last four games.
The Blackhawks defense has done a good job in front of Fleury, allowing just 9.4 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, and they shouldn’t be threatened all that much by a toothless Kraken offense.
The Kraken Are Reeling
The Seattle Kraken have been a mess in their first season thanks to porous goaltending and a struggling offense.
The Kraken are among the worst offensive teams in the NHL. While teams like Arizona and Buffalo may have less talent on paper than Seattle, those teams are creating more expected goals per 60 minutes than the Kraken to this point in the season. Seattle ranks dead-last in xGF/60, second-to-last in shots on goal per game and third-worst in generating high-danger scoring chances.
Those numbers are dismal, but the defense has played well enough that competent goaltending could have pushed the Kraken towards the middle of the standings. Unfortunately, Philipp Grubauer has been the worst goalie in the NHL this season by far. The German’s -25.5 GSAx is nearly 13 goals worse than the next netminder.
With Chris Driedger in Covid-19 protocols, it will almost certainly be Grubauer’s crease on Monday and that’s a scary proposition for Kraken and Under bettors.
Blackhawks vs. Kraken Pick
With two struggling offenses playing against two decent defenses, the Under is tempting here, but it’s almost impossible to trust Grubauer to make enough saves to get to the window. Instead, I’ll continue to fade the German goaltender on Monday.
Both of these teams have been struggling offensively, but with Fleury in good form I feel confident enough in Chicago to get two points against Grubauer.
Pick: Blackhawks -110
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