Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Seattle Kraken vs. New York Rangers Betting Preview
Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Eberle.
- The Kraken make their first-ever trip to Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
- The Rangers are one point away from the top of the Metropolitan Division and already beat Seattle at its own place this season.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the game below and gives his top pick.
Kraken vs. Rangers Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
In their first trip to New York, the Seattle Kraken will play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Both teams played each other in October with the Rangers coming on top, so Seattle will look to get revenge against the Blue Shirts.
Believe it or not, but Seattle is playing some of its best hockey all season. Since losing nine games in a row, the Kraken have gone 4-2 in their last six and are finding some chemistry. The NHL’s newest franchise will look to continue its wave of good play with its first game in The Garden.
New York is only one point away from tying the lead in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers are one of the top teams in the league, and it’s shown going 6-4 in their last 10. Although, they have lost two in a row, so they’ll most likely be determined to end that streak against the Kraken.
Kraken Are Beginning To Hit Stride
This year was the honeymoon phase for Seattle fans, but it got to the point where watching games wasn’t as fun. Now the Kraken are winning games and they seem to have turned the corner. They will be without top wingers Brandon Tanev and Jaden Schwartz, and it’s uncertain if Jamie Oleksiak or Carson Soucy will be available. However, they’ve gotten exceptional performances from Jordan Eberle, Jared McCann and Yanni Gourde.
When a team is winning, it comes with a better ability to generate offense. The Kraken have done a marvelous job at creating chances, as they now have a 2.11 xGF/60 (expected goals per 60 minutes). It’s impressive considering most of the season they were in sub-2 territory. Not only that, but they are generating more high-danger chances, and their power play has been much better over the last six games.
Seattle has always been pretty reliable on the defensive side of the puck. When you allow the fourth fewest high-danger chances, you’d expect to not let the puck in as much. But due to poor goaltending, it hasn’t been that way, as the Kraken have allowed the third most goals.
Heading into the season, it was believed that Seattle’s goaltending would’ve been up with the best tandems in the league. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While Philipp Grubauer and Chris Dreidger are playing better as of late, it’s too little too late. Grubauer is posting an .885 SV% and a league-worst -24.9 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected), while Driedger has an .896 SV% and a -2.6 GSAx.
Rangers Bearing Fruits of Rebuild
It was only a matter of time until the Rangers started showing significant progress in their rebuild, and this year was the year to do it. New York has gotten substantial production from Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox who are scoring at a point-per-game basis, as well as Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider at almost a point per game. However, New York has been hit with a few blows. Fox won’t be playing, nor will Kaapo Kaako and potentially Filip Chytil.
One of the main reasons why the Rangers have been so successful has been their power play. With an 11th-ranked power play at 24.8, the Rangers are tough to stop when they have the man advantage. What’s surprising is the ability, or lack thereof, to drive play. They’re ranked 21st with a 2.26 xGF/60 and 13th in high-danger chances created. The power play definitely amplified their high-danger chances, because that is a decent difference.
If the Blue Shirts didn’t have such elite goaltending, I don’t think they’d be in the position they’re in right now. Defensively, they’re not great, as they allow the third most high-danger chances but eighth least amount of goals.
Igor Shesterkin has been a godsend for Ranger fans. The Russian netminder acts as a brick wall in front of the net with a stifling .936 SV% and a league-leading 23.1 GSAx. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shesterkin gets some consideration for the Vezina, as he’s been that good. Backup Alexandar Georgiev played on Thursday, so I don’t see any reason why Shesterkin doesn’t play against the Kraken.
Kraken vs. Rangers Pick
This could be a closer game than most would think. I think Seattle will give the Rangers headaches here. With their offense clicking on all cylinders, and the Rangers defense not performing as well, this has the potential to be an upset.
While I am super high on Shesterkin in net, I’m taking a chance by backing the Kraken to take this game, and we’ll see if they continue their winning ways.
Pick: Seattle Kraken +160