Wild vs. Kraken Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Minnesota to Secure Road Victory in NHL Clash (Nov. 13)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Minnesota Wild standout Kirill Kaprizov.
- Minnesota heads west to Seattle for a late-night NHL matchup.
- The three-win Kraken must find a way to slow a Wild team with four wins in their last five games.
- Greg Liodice breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Wild vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
In the Pacific Northwest, the Minnesota Wild take on the Seattle Kraken on Saturday in the newly built Climate Pledge Arena. Both are coming off a loss and looking to get back in the win column in this Western Conference battle.
Prior to losing in Las Vegas on Thursday, the Wild were red hot, winning four in a row. Many seem to think Minnesota is the home of the most exciting teams in the league, and you’d be hard pressed to find a different club with the flare it has. Currently, it stands in second of the Central Division with a 9-4-0 record.
I think it’s safe to say the Golden Knights raised our expectations for what to expect out of the expansion Seattle Kraken when they went to the Stanley Cup five years ago. Many thought the Kraken would contend for a playoff spot.
While there’s a ton of hockey still to be played, they’ve had a rough go at it in the past 10 games, going 3-7-0 and being the first team to lose to the Coyotes.
Since the arrival of Russian sensation Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild have become a team to keep an eye on. Kaprizov, who enters this game with 11 points, continues to set the league on fire. However, Kaprizov isn’t the only factor in the State of Hockey. The offense has been spread around, as they’ve gotten significant production from guys like Marcus Foligno, Ryan Hartman and Joel Eriksson Ek.
When you have a team that generates as many scoring chances as the Wild do, you’re bound to have success. Minnesota currently stands as a top-10 team in Expected Goals per 60 minutes with a xGF of 2.7 and have created 107 high danger scoring chances all season. The ability to spread out the offense has been crucial to the team’s success and will only help them moving forward.
Goaltending hasn’t been quite as successful as the offense. Cam Talbot, after a strong start to the season, has come back down to earth with a .905 SV% and an abysmal -2.5 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). Backup Kaapo Kahkonen hasn’t been much better in the three games he’s played.
Despite the poor goaltending, the defense has been able to help out Talbot and Kahkonen. Minnesota has only allowed 79 high-danger chances, which is fourth best in the league. Defense usually helps you win games, even if the goaltending is subpar, and that has shown in the standings.
The NHL’s 32nd franchise hasn’t had the luck it was hoping for in its inaugural season. Coming into this game, Seattle has lost their last four of five games. Offensively, the Kraken have gotten some quality production. Jordan Eberle has scored in five consecutive games; Jared McCann is scoring at a point-per-game pace; and, Brandon Tanev has endeared himself to the Kraken fans.
However, the goaltending and defense have been an issue. What was supposed to be a strength has turned into a weakness, and it’s halted Seattle’s progress.
You’d think being a bottom-five team in the league would mean they would struggle on offense, right? Well, you’d be wrong. The Kraken have actually held their own on the offensive end and have done it well. They currently stand 12th in the league for Expected Goals per 60 with a 2.54 xG, as well as generating 110 high danger chances (ninth in the league).
Former Vezina finalist Philipp Grubauer hasn’t been the goaltender Seattle fans thought they were getting. For a team that doesn’t allow many high danger chances, Grubauer should have better numbers. He currently stands with an .882 SV% and a -8.2 GSAx, which is third worst in the league.
Backup Chris Driedger, who has been injured most of the season so far, has only played in two games, and underwhelmed in both of them. If Seattle wants to be better, it’s going to need better performances from its netminders.
Wild vs. Kraken Pick
Minnesota has a stifling defense and I expect it to lock down Seattle’s surging offense, eventually frustrating the host.
Grubauer is going to have to get out of this funk sooner or later, but based on his past performance against the Anaheim Ducks, it’s hard to see it ending anytime soon.
After losing Thursday, I see Minnesota coming out on top.
Pick: Minnesota ML (-115)
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