Kraken vs. Avalanche Odds, Picks, Predictions: Is Blowout In Store In Colorado? (Jan. 10)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Rantanen.
- Seattle begins a three-game road trip Monday night in Colorado.
- The Kraken's inaugural season has not gone as planned, and they are appropriately huge +310 underdogs.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Kraken vs. Avalanche Odds
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The Seattle Kraken will begin a three-game road trip by taking on the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, a game in which they are massive underdogs.
Seattle has only played one game since the calendar flipped to 2022, which was a 5-2 loss to the Canucks. Meanwhile, Colorado remains undefeated since the start of the New Year and has won nine of its last 10 games.
The inaugural season for the Kraken has not been kind, as they have won just 10 games up to this point and have played poorly on the road. Will they be able to flip the script on Monday, or will we see the Avalanche continue their hot streak?
Inaugural Kraken Season Has Been Rough
The 2021-2022 season was one full of anticipation and hope for the NHL’s newest franchise, but up to this point it has been rather disappointing.
The Kraken enter this matchup with just 24 total points, the fourth least in the league and only ahead of the Senators, Canadiens, and Coyotes, which is a perfect summary of how their season has gone.
A large reason for their lack of success has been their inconsistency to put pucks in the net. This has been one of the worst offenses in 5-on-5 this year, scoring a total of just 60 goals and ranking last in the NHL in Expected Goals Per 60 minutes (xGF/60) with 1.99.
Their almost non-existent offense is frustrating, especially when you consider how well the defense has played for most of the year.
Seattle is surrendering an average of 2.79 goals per games, but according to Natural Stat Trick this team enters this matchup with just 2.18 Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) in 5-on-5 situations, the second best mark in the NHL. Furthermore, Seattle is only allowing their opponents to generate 8.89 High Danger Chances per 60 minutes (HDCF/60), another area in which they rank in the top two.
Unfortunately, Phillipp Grubauer has been a liability in net for most of the year which has negated what their defense has done. Grubauer is expected to get the start in this one, and in 5-on-5 this season he has an SV % of .885 and -19.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), a number that is by far the lowest in the NHL.
Colorado Can Create Avalanche of Goals
The Avalanche had their last seven games of 2021 canceled due to COVID, but since they have resumed play, this team has been next to unstoppable.
This is already arguably the strongest offensive attack in the NHL, as they lead the league in goals per game with 4.32. That number has actually increased to five goals per game during their four game win streak, proving the Avalanche may still have room to go before reaching their ceiling.
In addition, the Avs have been great in 5-on-5 situations, as they have scored the fourth-most goals with 81 and have done that while playing significantly less games than the three teams in front of them. They have gotten a tremendous amount of contribution out of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, and Gabriel Landeskog, a group that has proven to keep opposing defenses on high alert.
Defensively, Colorado ranks seventh in the NHL in xGA/60 with 2.26 in 5-on-5, while also being in the top 10 in shots on goal allowed, both of which have allowed it to open up leads and take some pressure off of whoever is in net.
No starting goaltender has been named yet, but it looks like Darcy Kuemper is in line to make the start. Keumper has won his last seven starts, and he has posted an SV % of .917 in 5-on-5.
Kraken vs. Avalanche Pick
This is a matchup of two teams that are trending in opposite directions, and I think we will likely see Colorado continue its dominance.
Seattle has lost five straight games, losing by an average of 2.2 goals per game in that span. Grubauer has been extremely vulnerable in net, and his life will likely get much more difficult while facing one of the best scoring attacks in the league.
Colorado has already proven it can beat the Kraken, as it won the matchup earlier in the season by a score of 7-3. I think it is likely we will see another one-sided affair Monday, one in which the Avalanche win by several goals.
Pick: Avalanche -1.5 (-145)