NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Senators vs. Kraken (April 18)
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Philipp Grubauer (Kraken)
- The Senators take on the Kraken in a battle between two teams playing for next season.
- The difference could be Seattle's disappointing goaltending and who starts in net for it.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Senators vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
In a battle of two of the bottom teams in the league, the Ottawa Senators head west to take on the Seattle Kraken. The Sens took the first meeting between both squads last month in overtime, but the Kraken will look to defend “The Deep” with a win.
Ottawa wishes this season was better, but the future looks promising. It recently took the high-powered Maple Leafs to overtime, and has gone 5-4-1 in its last 10 games. The Sens will look to continue their decent play to end the season strong and plan for next year.
Seattle’s first season obviously didn’t go as it had hoped, but it’s clear that it’s focusing on the long term. With not much success over the year, the Kraken managed to play close to .500 hockey in April, holding a 4-6 record in their last 10 games.
Sens Have Surprised on Defense
While the standings may not reflect it, the Senators have gotten some great production out of their young guys. They’ve gotten career-high production out of captain Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stützle, Josh Norris and Drake Batherson.
Perhaps next year is when the Sens break out. They are battered with injuries, as they’re missing top defenseman Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph, Colin White and Matt Murray.
The Sens don’t have a very high-powered offense, as they only score 2.69 goals per game with a 46.83 xGF% (expected goals for). They aren’t the best at generating high-danger chances either, but the power play isn’t as bad as one would expect, scoring at a 19.85% clip.
Surprisingly, Ottawa has been a fairly sound defensive team. While it allow 3.2 goals per game, it does an OK job at preventing high-danger chances. The PK is 13th-best with an 80.4% success rate.
Anton Forsberg has really shaped up to become a solid No. 1 net-minder in this league. After jumping around teams, he recently signed a juicy three-year extension after posting a .917 SV% and a +6.9 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).
Backup Filip Gustavsson hasn’t played since mid-March, so it’s also possible he gets the nod against a struggling team. Gustavsson has an .886 SV% and a -9.4 GSAx. I would monitor this before placing any bets since the drop off is rather large.
Keep an Eye on Seattle’s Goaltending
For the Kraken, this season was clearly a honeymoon year, and now eyes will venture to next season.
Offensively, they weren’t great, but did get decent production out of guys like Jared McCann (who signed a five-year extension), Yanni Gourde, Jordan Eberle and Alex Wennberg.
The only significant injury is Jaden Schwartz who is listed as day-to-day. I think many can agree this roster wasn’t put together very well, so maybe next year there will be more promise.
Seattle has been one of the worst offensive teams all season (what do you expect when no one has over 50 points?). Scoring a lowly 2.56 goals per game, the Kraken also have an expected goals rate of 47.23 (23rd league wide).
They also generated the second-lowest amount of high-danger chances, while scoring on the power play at a terrible 14% rate.
A Dave Hakstol coached team is usually pretty proficient on the defensive end, and the Kraken have done well at holding down the fort there.
While poor goaltending has forced them to allow 3.48 goals per game, and a 74.8% penalty kill, they do a great job at limiting high-danger chances, which they are seventh-best at.
From what was supposed to be a strength, the goaltending turned out to be a massive dud. Fresh off a Vezina nomination, Philipp Grubauer has posted horrid numbers, with an .891 SV% and a league-worst -30.6 GSAx.
Chris Driedger posted career-high numbers last year with Florida, and is now posting an .898 SV% and a -2.4 GSAx. From the looks of it, Driedger is starting to get his groove back after posting above .910 SV% in four of his last five, but I would keep a close eye on this since both Grubauer and Driedger have split starts recently.
Kraken vs. Senators Pick
In this matchup, I think the stats here speak for themselves. You have two pretty decent defensive teams with limited offensive capabilities.
The one caveat here would be Seattle’s goaltending. Ottawa has a handful of players that can put the puck in the net, so that could spell trouble for either Grubauer or Driedger.
I think Ottawa wins this game, as it’s a little more advanced in its rebuild than the Kraken. Plus, I don’t trust Seattle’s goaltending. I think it’s tempting to pick the under, however, if Gustavsson starts, then I would steer away from that.
I see the Sens pulling this off, but if you want to feel juicy, keep track of who the Senators start in net. If Forsberg starts, the under is also a very viable option.
Pick: Senators ML (-105) or Under 6 (-120) if Forsberg starts
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