NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wild vs. Kraken (Thursday, October 28)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Kirill Kaprizov
Wild vs. Kraken Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The 5-1-0 Minnesota Wild — one of the surprise success stories early in the 2021-22 NHL season — will make their first-ever visit to Climate Pledge Arena on Thursday night to face the Seattle Kraken.
But while the Wild seem to be rolling, the club canceled its practice in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon amidst word of possible positive COVID-19 tests among the players.
With a full roster, I like the Wild as road winners.
Keep an eye out for game-day personnel updates before placing any bets. You may also see the line move against Minnesota, making a wager potentially more attractive if you think the team’s lineup remains strong enough.
Streaking Wild Facing Covid Challenge
The Wild have lost just once this season — at home last weekend, to the Nashville Predators. But despite their impressive record, they haven’t been firing on all cylinders.
Their new superstar, Kirill Kaprizov, has yet to score his first goal of the season after signing a five-year, $45 million contract in September.
And while starting goaltender Cam Talbot improved to 5-0-0 after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, his save percentage is a ho-hum .906.
Also, the advanced stats show he currently’s currently at -1.0 goals saved above expected. That’s mostly due to his below-average save rate on high-danger scoring attempts.
Up front, 34-year-old Mats Zuccarello continues to lead the way offensively, with seven points in six games, including a gorgeous breakaway tally to open the scoring against Vancouver on Tuesday.
In front of Talbot, the Wild’s playing style is stifling. Minnesota gives up just 7.95 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, lowest in the league. But the club’s penalty killing is surprisingly weak, ranking 27th at just 69.2%.
Kraken Settling In At Home
After going 1-3-1 on their franchise-opening road trip, the Kraken have split their first two games at Climate Pledge Arena, watching the Canucks come from behind to steal a victory last Saturday before dispatching Montreal 5-1 on Tuesday.
Jared McCann is leading the way offensively with seven points, Brandon ‘Turbo’ Tanev has become an instant fan favorite with five goals and energetic Yanni Gourde has logged three points in three games since getting into the lineup after his offseason shoulder surgery.
After lots of offseason talk about how the Kraken might not be able to generate enough offense to win games, their five-goal outing against Montreal was the most productive game in their franchise’s brief history.
If they’re healthy, the Wild will bring a much stouter defensive challenge.
While the Kraken expected Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer to deliver top-flight goaltending when they lured him away from the Colorado Avalanche in free agency last summer, that hasn’t been the case so far.
Grubauer’s -3.7 goals saved above expected is third-lowest in the league, ahead of only Marc-Andre Fleury of Chicago and Carter Hutton of Arizona.
One roster note on the Seattle side: forward Mason Appleton will be sidelined on Thursday. He left Tuesday’s game after taking an awkward fall into the boards.
Wild vs. Kraken Pick
Home-ice advantage usually carries significant weight in NHL matchups. But with just two games under their belt to date at Climate Pledge Arena, the Kraken are still finding their way, even while being showered with support from the hyped-up fans in Seattle.
The odds reflect this.
At -135, the visiting Wild are assigned a 57% chance of victory. But that number could move significantly if and when the names of players who have tested positive for COVID-19 are announced.
On the Seattle side, Gourde’s return has been a welcome addition. And while Tuesday’s win over the Canadiens was encouraging, the Wild should be a much tougher opponent.
The Wild have shown that they know what it takes to earn regulation wins — all five of their victories have come by one goal.
Assuming its icing a relatively complete NHL roster, Minnesota should be a decent bet on the money line.
Pick: Minnesota Wild (-135); play down to -150.
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