NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Kraken vs. Ducks (Dec. 15)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Anaheim Ducks standout Trevor Zegras.
- The Ducks host the Kraken in the second meeting of the season between these teams.
- The Ducks beat the Kraken 7-4 on November 11th in the previous meeting.
- Greg Liodice breaks down this matchup and shares his best bet below.
Kraken vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Anaheim Ducks host the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday at Honda Center. This will be the second time these teams have faced off after the Ducks whopped the Kraken in a 7-4 rout. Seattle will look to get revenge upon their Pacific Division counterpart, while Anaheim looks to stay hot.
The NHL’s most recent expansion franchise hasn’t had it as easy as the previous expansion team in the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken currently sit as a bottom-five team in the league, losing four of their last six games. While they have shown they have talent, there’s certainly something missing for Seattle.
Anaheim is arguably one of the NHL’s most exciting teams. The Ducks came into the season expecting to fully rebuild, but find themselves second in the Pacific. The young side has also gone 4-1-2 in the month of December, so it continues to ride high and hopes to continue its momentum.
For the Kraken, they’ve certainly seen their ups and downs — one could argue it’s mostly been downs. However, in the Pacific Northwest, they’re still in the honeymoon phase and no matter what record they post, the fans will be grateful that they are theirs. Guys like Jordan Eberle, Brandon Tanev, Jaden Schwartz and Jared McCann have all produced at a top level and will continue to form legitimate chemistry as the season moves on.
Despite the quality production from their top six, they don’t drive play all that well. The Kraken rank in the bottom 10 in expected goals per 60 minutes with a 2.18 xGF, and bottom 10 in high danger chances created. The power play hasn’t exactly been their friend either, as they score at only a 17.9% clip. Offensively, the Kraken certainly need to be better, and with time they’ll get better, but this season has been a tough go for them.
What was supposed to be a strength in goaltending has turned out to be a colossal failure for now. After snagging Philipp Grubauer in free agency, the former Vezina finalist is currently posting an .884 SV% and a league-worst -19.1 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). Backup Chris Dreidger hasn’t been that special either, with an .876 SV% and a -2.8 GSAx. It’s astounding two of the most efficient net minders last year have turned into the league’s worst tandem.
The boys in Orange County are flying and taking the NHL by storm. Many thought their hot start would be an aberration, but they’ve managed to keep the fire burning. You might have heard about Trevor Zegras, the one-man show and his ability to make dynamite plays. Troy Terry is scoring at just under a point per game and Sonny Milano is just two points away from tying a career high just 25 games into his season. The Ducks have one of the best young groups and they’re only going to get better.
Anaheim is pretty decent at driving play, as they currently post a 2.38 xGF per 60 which is about middle-of-the-pack. However, it’s among the best at generating high danger chances and a top-five power play team, scoring at a 25.3% clip. Everything seems to be clicking for the Ducks on offense, and with a strong blue line backing them up, it’s hard not to be bullish on them moving forward.
Amidst its strengths on the front end, Anaheim is getting top notch goaltending from John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz. Gibson has gotten the bulk of the starts, posting a .918 SV% as well as a -0.7 GSAx. Stolarz has been fantastic posting a .930 SV% along with a 2.9 GSAx.
No matter who’s in net, Anaheim will be in good shape. Since Stolarz played in their win against St. Louis, I’d expect Gibson to get the nod, but he has come up as day-to-day on the injury report, so keep tabs on that.
Ducks vs. Kraken Pick
Since Driedger played Tuesday night in San Jose, expect Grubauer to get the nod, which shouldn’t make a difference. The Ducks have the advantage in all aspects and are the clear-cut favorite.
I also think the Kraken playing on a back to back is a major disadvantage for them. There’s a ton of value backing the Ducks money line here.
Pick: Anaheim (-150)