NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Vancouver Canucks vs. Seattle Kraken (October 27)
Pictured: Matty Beniers. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
- The Kraken host the Canucks on Thursday night in a Pacific Northwest showdown.
- Vancouver is off to a dreadful start this season, while Seattle has been playing well.
- Greg Liodice previews this game and shares his best bet below.
Canucks vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Battle of the Pacific Northwest takes place for the first time this year as the Seattle Kraken host the struggling Vancouver Canucks.
Vancouver is really going through it. Through the first seven games, they’ve blown leads, been blown out and have had their hearts broken in overtime. It’s been a disaster since they blew a 3-0 lead on opening night. They'll now head across the border and hope to get in the win column.
Seattle has looked really good, much better than last year. The one worry I always have is their goaltending, yet they're in the first wild card spot at 3-3-2. The Kraken are playing solid hockey and getting great production.
After last year, I really thought the Canucks would make serious strides. There’s a ton of talent on the roster and it seemed as if the team bought into Bruce Boudreau’s system. You'd think a team featuring Elias Pettersson, JT Miller, Quinn Hughes (who is now injured) and Bo Horvat would have won by now, right? Well, guess again. It doesn’t seem like things are clicking in Vancouver and one may wonder if a change or two is in the works.
Consistency has killed Vancouver ever since opening night. The Canucks can go on a tear for a period or two, then fall apart at the drop of a dime. They’ve often struggled to create scoring opportunities and rank 22nd with a 44.92 xGF% (expected goals). They've also struggled to create high danger chances, averaging just over 7.5 per game.
Special teams have also been a struggle. Vancouver converts on the power play at a 16% pace and the penalty kill is by far the worst with only a 57% rate.
Since this is the first game of a back to back, I wonder if we’ll see Thatcher Demko or Spencer Martin. Demko hasn’t been the rock he normally is and is playing to a -5.4 goals saved above expected (GSAx) and an .872 SV% through six games. Martin, through one game, stopped 29 of 33 shots and played to a -0.7 GSAx.
When looking at this Seattle roster, you can see the makings of something special. Matty Beniers is showing that he’s a future star in this league, Andre Burakovsky was a wonderful pickup this offseason and Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz are producing at their usual consistent pace. I don’t think they’re a playoff team just yet, but this solid start is a good sign of things to come.
The Kraken’s problem last year was their inability to create legitimate scoring chances. This year, after a strong offseason, the offense has started off red hot. So far at 5-on-5, the Kraken have an xGF of 57.75% and have created the fifth most high danger chances. Their powerplay has also been clicking and is scoring at a 29% pace. However, their penalty kill, at 69%, could be better.
Seattle’s goaltending is a tire fire for the second straight year. If the goaltending was better, perhaps the Kraken could’ve won one or two more games. The defense has held strong with a sixth best 2.32 xGA/60. Their top netminder, Philipp Grubauer was recently placed on IR so I can see Martin Jones taking the crease tonight. Jones hasn’t been much to write home about, although he was impressive in the Kraken’s win against Buffalo. He’s playing to a -2.7 GSAx and an .870 SV%.
Canucks vs. Kraken Pick
I’m going to target the total here. Both teams have the ability to not only score, but get scored on. If you look at the schedule for both teams, 11 out of the combined 15 games have reached a total of six or more goals. That makes it incredibly tantalizing to bet the over here.
Vancouver’s defense has been rough. The Canucks have an xGA/60 of 2.9, which is 10th worst in the league. With Seattle’s ability to drive the play, it could be open season.
You also should factor in the goaltending. I’m not sure if Demko or Martin starts, but neither have been brick walls and I really like Seattle’s firepower.
Jones has made a career of having a below average save percentage, so I can certainly see a few pucks getting past him as well.
Pick: Over 6.5 (-105)