NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kraken vs Canucks (Saturday, November 18)
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Andrei Kuzmenko #96 of the Vancouver Canucks
Kraken vs. Canucks Odds
Six weeks into the regular season, the Vancouver Canucks are holding strong as frontrunners in the Pacific Division.
The same can't be said for the Seattle Kraken, who have fallen off last year's playoff pace, opening the year with a disappointing 6-8-4 record.
Like most opponents taking on the Kraken, these teams don't have a storied history. But close proximity could play a role in this divisional matchup evolving into a more fierce competition.
If nothing else, we're anticipating an intense contest as two teams with similar analytics profiles battle it out on Saturday night.
Here's a look at the Kraken vs. Canucks odds and prediction for the game.
You wouldn't know it from the team's 46-28-8 record or playoff run last year, but Seattle was a middling analytics team.
The Kraken barely kept their heads above water, putting together a 51.7% expected goals-for rating at 5-on-5. The NHL's newest franchise vastly overachieved relative to those metrics, accumulating an actual rating of 56.6%, thanks to an exorbitantly inflated shooting percentage.
That puck luck has seemingly run out this year, and the Kraken are falling apart because of it.
It's not just their shooting percentage that has crumbled, though. Seattle's metrics have dropped early in 2023-24, negatively impacting their on-ice product.
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The Kraken's expected goals-for percentage has taken a modest hit, falling to 50.4%, but the the team's regression is more clearly illustrated in its shooting percentage. Seattle's 5-on-5 shooting percentage has gone from 10.7% in 2022-23 to 6.4% this season.
Seattle was never going to maintain last year's pace, but it's becoming increasingly unlikely it will snap out of its funk this season.
The Kraken's offensive metrics' have taken a hit over their recent sample, and they've been even worse on the road.
They've been held to 20 or fewer scoring and seven or fewer high-danger chances in five of their last seven games. Consequently, the Kraken are averaging a paltry 19.3 scoring and 7.7 quality opportunities over that stretch.
That's not going to change any time soon.
Although the Canucks have similar, if not worse, metrics than their counterparts on Saturday night, they are coming from a very different spot on the progression/regression chart.
For years, the Nucks have underachieved relative to their metrics, falling below expected goals-for values in two of the last three seasons.
With more stability on their roster, a better system in place, and years of development for a young team, it might be time for Vancouver to take a few steps forward.
Earlier this week, we outlined how the Canucks would inevitably enter a correction phase. Although that usually means a deterioration in metrics, sometimes that also means progression in underlying stats but more hard-fought/less convincing victories.
We could be starting to see some of that play out right now.
Before Thursday's defeat, the Canucks had outplayed their opponents in four straight games. Over that stretch, they posted a cumulative 58.0% expected goals-for rating, walking away victorious in three of four contests.
They may have fallen flat on their face against the Calgary Flames, but Vancouver will be insulated on home ice, allowing them to reassert itself on both ends of the ice.
It helps that the Canucks are hosting a Kraken squad that has just three road wins on the season, albeit with four of their seven losses coming in overtime or a shootout.
Kraken vs. Canucks
Betting Pick & Prediction
Looking at both squads through the analytics lens, neither boasts earth-shattering metrics.
Nevertheless, the Canucks have been the superior team over their recent sample and have more trends supporting ongoing success this season.
We are using Saturday night to back the home side, expecting this line to shift further toward the Canucks throughout the day.
Take note of these trends: The Kraken have exceeded the total in four straight road games while Vancouver has stayed under just once over its previous 10 contests.
As such, we're taking a stance on the Canucks moneyline and over 6.5 in this one.