Canucks vs. Kraken Odds, Preview, Prediction: Can Vancouver Return to Winning Ways? (Jan. 1)
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Thatcher Demko.
- Vancouver hits the road to Seattle, looking to return to its winning ways.
- The Canucks are fresh off their first loss in seven games, the first losing effort under new coach Bruce Boudreau.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down their game with the Kraken and gives his top pick, below.
Canucks vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
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Having been notably outplayed Thursday night in Los Angeles, Bruce Boudreau’s Canucks suffered a 2-1 shootout loss. All things considered though, claiming a point from the contest was a very favorable result, and Vancouver will look to build on its 7-0-1 record under Boudreau here.
Seattle put together another set of very respectable efforts this week against the Flyers and Flames, but it has zero points to show for it, in what has become the story of its season for a team that simply has not found ways to win games.
Can Seattle break through with a better result here, or will we see Vancouver continue its push towards a highly-improbable playoff berth?
Boudreau’s Canucks Finally Lost
Vancouver undoubtedly put together its worst effort under new bench boss Bruce Boudreau on Thursday, putting together a lackluster effort in night two of a road back-to-back situation coming off a long layoff.
A well-run third period power play was about all the team could muster offensively, but Bo Horvat’s timely power play marker allowed the Canucks to still steal a point.
The Canucks penalty kill has gone six for six over the last two games, which runs their success rate under Boudreau to 88.9%, a vast improvement from their dreadful league-worst rating prior.
Cleaning up that area has offered a massive boost to the team, and it’s reasonable to think Vancouver actually holds a special teams advantage over the Kraken.
Although the play-driving metrics are less than gaudy of late, you can sense the newfound life for these Canucks and the sense of confidence that the team will find a way to win — and the desperation to do so.
Vancouver has still seen far from Elias Pettersson’s best, and my opinion is that he is going to find his game to an extent this season under Boudreau, which could offer a notable boost.
Thatcher Demko has been in remarkable form of late, and really for most of the season, although his numbers have not altogether reflected it. Demko holds a +9.8 goals saved above expected rating with a .920 save % throughout 26 games played this season.
Brock Boeser will remain in COVID protocols and is a notable loss for the team.
Kraken Continue to Fight Each Night
Rarely has a lack of effort been on the list of the Kraken’s concerns this season, and that narrative has continued this week over two very hard-fought losses to the Flames and Flyers.
However, Seattle would ultimately allow 3.31 goals above expected in the two contests, a storyline the team has seen over and over this season.
Even still, Seattle has leveled off with regards to its once strong control of play at even strength as well, with a second-from-bottom expected goals rating of 42.58 throughout the month of December.
With a team offering notably less scoring talent, that is not good news, and although for a long period of time I felt this team was an obvious candidate for better results, it does not seem those wins are coming anytime soon at this point.
Philipp Grubauer will likely draw the start here and has struggled this season throughout 24 games played with a -22.0 goals saved above expected rating and a .882 save %.
Canucks vs. Kraken Pick
Considering the Kraken’s efforts this week, it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see them control a fair share of the play here. It’s easy to see how in theory this game is close to a pick-em and that control of play and chances-for should be close to level.
However, Seattle has rarely found ways to win, while under Boudreau the Canucks have been spectacular at doing exactly that.
Thatcher Demko has to be viewed as a tremendous advantage over the play of Grubauer/Driedger in goal. The Canucks have done a great job of limiting the complete breakdowns in front of Demko of late, and I am willing to write the notably bad performance Thursday against the Kings off as a one-off in a tough situation, on a road back-to-back coming out of the long layoff.
Seattle hasnn’t generated a ton in front of goal of late, and high quality finishers are lacking on the team. I think this sets up as a solid matchup for Demko to continue his recent dominance.
Vancouver still has some offensive firepower not clicking at full strength, and I’m going to look for a big night from Pettersson Garland and Podkolzin’s line.
Altogether I think Vancouver holds more of an edge than a line of -110 suggests, and I think it can figure out a way to win this one and continue its dominant run of results.
Pick: Canucks Moneyline -110 | Play to -125