NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Hurricanes vs. Oilers (Dec. 11)
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.
Hurricanes vs. Oilers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Edmonton will look to snap a season-high, four-game losing skid on Saturday, but will face a very tough test from one of the league’s most complete teams in the Carolina Hurricanes, who managed a hard-fought 2-1 victory in Calgary Thursday night.
Carolina holds one of the deepest rosters and the results have been as expected, with the Hurricanes two points off the league lead having played one less contest than Minnesota.
That depth has shone through over their three-game winning streak, which has come without some excellent pieces in Tony DeAngelo, Brett Pesce and Ethan Bear on the back end.
With several games featuring none of those strong play-driving defenders, the team has still created a league leading xGF/60 mark of 3.44 over their last eight contests.
Head coach Rod Brind’Amour preaches a very aggressive forecheck and 5-man attack in zone, with a deep, talented roster well suited to play his up-tempo game.
The forward group behind elite talents Sebastien Aho and Andrei Svechnikov is littered with high upside pieces, such as Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen and youngster, Seth Jarvis who is looking more and more dangerous. The Hurricanes sit ninth in goals for per game, but I believe they will push closer to top five by the end of the season with the talent on hand.
Carolina will likely go with Frederik Andersen again here, and let backup Antti Raanta go Sunday in Vancouver. Andersen has been stellar with a .929 save % and +11.8 goals saved above expected (GSAx) rating through 18 games played.
For Connor McDavid and the Oilers, the season has hit a snag, having lost four consecutive contests after a wildly consistent campaign prior to that which did not feature back-to-back defeats.
The Oilers have allowed a notably high 2.79 xGA/60 over the four-game losing streak, which appears in the line with the “eye-test,” with 16 goals allowed over that time frame where it counts. That said, I’m just not sure the bodies are currently there to help sort the situation out and life will not get easier against Carolina’s ninth-ranked offense.
Whether Dave Tippett wants to play such high-scoring contests or not, I continue to feel it’s just the nature of his roster. They’re going to make their mistakes in zone and get exposed off the rush at times, but often will cover up those flaws. They do it with a lethal offensive group, led by the league’s two most productive scorers in McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who can carry them to wins against the run of play and driven the power play to an absurd 32.5% success rate.
Edmonton will remain short Duncan Keith, Cody Ceci, Kris Russell and Slater Koekkoek, as well as Oscar Klefbom, who has yet to play this season.
I think we will see Tippett go back to goaltender Mikko Koskinen over Sean Skinner here, as he has split starts between the two since Mike Smith’s injury quite evenly. Koskinen has stopped .907 % of shots faced with a -2.6 GSAx rating over 16 games.
Hurricanes vs. Oilers Pick
This game will feature a vast wealth of offensive talent, two excellent power plays with a number of defenders missing from each side. For that reason, I think the chances both teams post strong offensive outputs here are good.
I like the chances that we see McDavid and Draisaitl lead Edmonton to a better offensive night than we have seen from the Oilers this week, but I’m certainly skeptical of their shaky defense’s ability to shutdown a deep Carolina team.
With both of groups realistically projecting to stay among the league’s highest scoring units and the Oilers likely having a hard time entirely shutting out Carolina, I like our chances we see this open up.
That said,I will be playing the over six goals and I would play that down to -130 odds in this confrontation.
Pick: Total Over 6 Goals (-115 | Play to -130)