Despite just four games on tonight’s NHL schedule, I’ve already identified some serious value that I want to hop on.
As a result, we’ll dial up a Predators vs. Kraken NHL Pick from Seattle!
Predators vs. Kraken Betting Odds
*Odds courtesy of BetOnline
|Predators||-178||-1.5 (+135)||Over 5.5 (+102)|
|Kraken||+160||+1.5 (-155)||Under 5.5 (-113)|
Offense and Defense
Not many — your’s truly included — expected the Predators to be this good on both sides of the puck, but here we are.
Now, the offense hasn’t dominated as they sit 15th with 3.04 goals per game, but a simple glance at the makeup of that forward group reveals very little beyond the top line. That top line has done plenty of damage, mind you, but I didn’t expect the Preds to be in the top-half of the league offensively this season.
Their road offense increases slightly to 3.14 goals per game, which represents the NHL’s 13th-ranked road offense. As for the underlying metrics, they aren’t quit as fond of this offense as the Preds sit 24th in high-danger chances for/60 and 25th in expected goals for/60 at 5v5, as per Natural Stat Trick. That said, their 2.44 goals/60 at 5v5 is more or less in line with their 2.33 expected mark, so the club appears deserving of their even-strength offensive fate.
Filip Forsberg bringing life back into the home crowd one PP goal at a time. ? pic.twitter.com/ZRKwS6DpnB
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 27, 2022
After tallying just two goals in each of their last two contests the club will be in search of improved results tonight.
The team’s back end has been solid which used to be the trademark of this Predators club.
The team is tied for 11th with 2.81 goals against on the season, but that number slips on the road where they’re tied for 18th with 3.14 goals against per game on the road. However, the underlying metrics are quite fond of their work as the club sits fourth in high-danger chances against/60 and eighth in expected goals against/60 at 5v5 on the season. their 2.23 goals against/60 at 5v5 is line with their 2.33 expected mark, so they’ve been a very solid even-strength defensive club.
After a rough five-game stretch in which they averaged 4.40 goals against per game, the Preds have buckled down some and yielded just four goals over their last two contests.
Not many teams in the league this season have been worse on both sides of the puck than the expansion Kraken, at least on the surface.
The offense has been poor in terms of both bottom-line results and underlying metrics. The club enters this one ranked 28th with just 2.53 goals per game on the season and 26th with just 2.62 goals per game on home ice.
Underneath, the club sits 31st in both high-danger chances for/60 and expected goals for/60 at 5v5 on the season. Their 2.13 goals for/60 is actually slightly above their expected mark while only the Chicago Blackhawks have been worse in both of those departments this season.
Furthermore, it’s an ice-cold offense at the moment. The club has scored two goals or fewer in each of their last five games while tallying just eight total goals in that time. Not helping the cause is missing Jared McCann — the team’s leading goal-scorer — who sits on Injured Reserve due to an upper-body injury.
The defense has been incredibly poor in terms of goal-prevention, but the peripherals are much more fond of their work.
The Kraken enter this one ranked 26th overall with 3.55 goals against per game on the season, but they fall to last place with 3.79 goals against per game on home ice.
That being said, they also sit seventh in high-danger chances against/60 and third in expected goals against/60 at 5v5. Their 3.00 goals against/60 at 5v5 is well above their 2.24 expected mark, but I’ll note the main difference for that huge spread very shortly.
With an average of 4.00 goals against per game over their last four, the Kraken’s defensive woes motor on.
We don’t have confirmation on a start for the Predators in this one, but considering the club has been off since Feb. 26 and doesn’t play again until Saturday, I’d eat my hat if Juuse Saros doesn’t get the nod in this one tonight.
Firmly one of the underrated netminders in the league and severely underrated prior to this season — his first as a true No. 1 — Saros is having a brilliant season. Pekka Rinne’s successor has turned in a tidy 2.46 GAA and .923 Sv% on the season across 44 outings with a 20.12 goals saved above average (GSAA) that ranks fourth of 71 qualified goaltenders, as per Hockey Reference.
Juuse Saros stopped all four Stars skaters in the shootout ?
On Pekka Night.
— Bally Sports: Preds (@PredsOnBally) February 25, 2022
After a four-start stretch in which he surrendered 15 goals, Saros has been more like himself of late, turning in a .934 Sv% while allowing just four goals against over his last two.
Not one team in the NHL has received worse goaltending than the Kraken who sit dead last with an .894 Sv% at 5v5 on the season in that department. Philipp Grubauer is largely to blame as the worst netminder in hockey as per Hockey Reference’s GSAA figure, but tonight’s starter Chris Driedger has not been much better.
After dominating in a small sample with the Panthers over the last couple of seasons, Driedger appeared to be the team’s starter when they selected him in the expansion draft. Despite signing Grubauer shortly after, Driedger has not deserved a starting gig with his performance this season.
He’s battled injuries and appeared in just 15 games, but he’s turned in an ugly 3.30 GAA and .893 Sv% in that time while his -6.28 GSAA sits 54th of those 71 qualified netminders. For what it’s worth, Grubauer is dead last with a horrendous -22.69 mark that is nearly 10 goals worse than the second-worst netminder.
Driedger has lost four of his last five starts but did fare better his last time out. After posting a brutal .866 Sv% over a three-start stretch, he turned aside 41 of 45 Vancouver Canucks shots (.911 Sv%) back on Feb. 21. Not a fabulous outing, but an improvement over his season-long work.
A notable reason as to why the Preds sport poor 5v5 results but are a solid offense is the man advantage, one that’s performed among the game’s best.
Overall, the Predators sit eighth with a 23.9% mark on the man advantage this season, a figure that travels quite well as they also rank sixth with a similar 24.1% clip on the road. That man advantage snapped a 1 for 13 stretch by going 2 for 4 against the Lightning their last time out.
The penalty kill has not been quite so good, but haven’t been horrible.
Overall, the club sits 17th with a 79.5% mark on the season, a figure that regresses slightly to a share of 18th with a 78.6% mark on the road. The penalty kill has struggled of late, however. They yielded two goals on four times short agaisnt the Bolts their last time out but are also just 22 for 33 (66.7%) across their last seven contests, allowing at least one PP goal in six of those seven.
The Kraken special teams have not been very special in their first season in the league.
The club sits all the way down at 29th with a 15.1% clip on the PP this season, and are actually slightly worse at home with a 14.3% mark that sits 30th in the league. That power play is 0 for 10 over its last five games while they’ve scored just two power-play goals over their last 10 games.
The penalty kill hasn’t been much better.
The club sits 22nd overall with a 77.1% mark on the kill this season, a figure that trends up just a little bit to 78.5% at home, also good for 22nd league wide. That PK has been quite good of late, however, in going a clean 10 for 10 over its last three games and 16 for 17 (94.1%) over its last six contests.
- Predators are 2-5 in their last seven road games
- Predators are 4-1 in their last five as a road favorite
- Over is 8-1 in the Predators’ last nine road games
- Over is 4-1 in the Predators’ last five vs. a team with a losing record
- Kraken are 7-19 in their last 26 home games
- Kraken are 1-10 in their last 11 games as a home underdog
- Over is 5-1 in the Kraken last six home games
- Under is 5-1 in the Kraken last six vs. a team with a winning record
Predators vs. Kraken NHL Pick
This is a game the Predators absolutely should win as they need to collect as many points as possible to keep pace in the Central Division.
Their offense is superior, their defense is superior, their power play is superior and their goaltending is superior. There is zero debate about those facts, and even their work on the road in those areas is far superior to Seattle’s results on home ice.
After stumbling a bit of late, Saros has been better over his last two and remains on of the very best goaltenders in the NHL. He’s long been very good as Rinne’s backup, but he’s been marvelous in his first season as a starter.
While I don’t like the value on the moneyline — and don’t mind a sprinkle on the puck line — I see solid value in grabbing the Preds on the 3-way moneyline at -125 odds. Sign me up for that one all day long in a matchup that greatly favors the road side.