NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kraken vs. Ducks (October 12)
Pictured: Matty Beniers. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
- Both Seattle and Anaheim enter the season with plenty of optimism and will meet Wednesday night in southern California.
- Seattle was one of the NHL's biggest disappointments in its inaugural campaign last season and will be highly motivated to get off to a better start this year.
- Nick Martin previews the game and shares his best bet below.
Kraken vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
These two rosters come with plenty of optimism entering the 2022-23 season and will meet Wednesday night hoping to claim an important two points in a Pacific division battle.
Seattle was one of the NHL's biggest disappointments in its inaugural campaign last season and will be highly motivated to get off to a better start this year.
A date in Anaheim is a good place to kick things off as the Ducks are one of just six teams with a lower preseason points O/U total than the Kraken, at 79.5.
Oddsmakers favor the Kraken to finish slightly above the Ducks, yet price Seattle as slight underdogs in this spot. Is home ice on opening night really such a notable game changer?
Last season was a disastrous one for the Kraken, who suffered through the league's worst goaltending on route to the NHL's second lowest point total.
A number of analysts, such as myself, fully believed Seattle was likely to be in the thick of the playoff mix as an expansion franchise.
Seattle's goaltending duo of Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger seemed likely to be an area of strength, but was ultimately the Kraken's greatest weakness with a combined goals saved above expected rating of -35.3.
Grubauer himself owned a -33.7 GSAx rating, which was the league's worst mark and was shocking based upon his play in seasons previous.
So, for the Kraken to take significant steps forward this season they will need some sort of bounce-back in goal and they brought in Martin Jones to shake things up.
Should that critical weakness improve, it could mean a great season is in store for Kraken fans.
I also believe Seattle made excellent roster acquisitions and that young talents such as Matty Beniers and Shane Wright could make a meaningful difference at the NHL level.
The Kraken dealt their third and fourth round picks from the 2023 entry draft to Columbus in exchange for forward Oliver Bjorkstrand, taking advantage of the Blue Jackets cap situation in a deal which should be quite a steal.
Seattle also brought in forward Andre Burakovsky from the Avalanche, another winger who should be a difference maker skating in the top six.
Veteran defender Justin Schultz was added via free agency and rounds out what could quietly be a solid defensive core.
Seattle won't blow anyone away with high-end talent, but the team has strong depth all over the ice and the ceiling to hang around the postseason race in what could be a competitive Pacific division.
Anaheim's young core put together a respectable 2021-22 season, all things considered.
Trevor Zegras placed second in the Calder trophy race and put together one of the most impressive highlight reels in the league. Rookie defender Jamie Drysdale also had a very solid campaign and Troy Terry broke out as a legitimate star with 67 points in 75 games.
Those two pieces inspire a ton of hope for Anaheim and the Ducks may have another Calder trophy nominee on their hands this season in 2021 third overall pick Mason McTavish.
McTavish put on a spectacular display at the World Junior Championships this summer with Team Canada and is priced as the Calder Trophy favorite at most sportsbooks.
Anaheim also brought in some veterans to help solidify the roster over the offseason, including Ryan Strome, who seems likely to center the Ducks' top line, and John Klingberg, who will run the top powerplay unit and skate top-four minutes.
Similar to the Kraken, Anaheim could be a possible candidate to see considerably better netminding in this 2022-23 season.
John Gibson has at times been one of the best netminders the NHL has to offer, and to see him bounce-back from a poor showing last year — which included a -14.3 goals saved above expected rating and .904 save % — would not be the least bit surprising.
Anthony Stolarz actually played to considerably better marks than Gibson with a .917 save % and -1.0 GSAx, and could ultimately end up starting with Gibson listed as day-to-day.
Kraken vs. Ducks Pick
All of Seattle's offseason acquisitions are players I am quite high on and I believe it's realistic to think the Kraken actually finish with a handful more wins than the Ducks this season.
Therefore, I believe backing the Kraken as an underdog at +105 holds strong value and could be a line we won't see moving forward.
Seattle holds a deeper defensive core and could quietly be skating a significantly better unit of center icemen, should Matty Beniers and Shane Wright prove effective at the NHL level.
This take could again prove embarrassing to myself if Philipp Grubauer is the league's worst netminder again, but there is just too much room for improvement on the Kraken's roster for me not to want action on them in the early going this season.
Pick: Seattle Kraken +105 (Play to -105)