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The Seattle Kraken are 2-2-1 in their last five games.
The New Jersey Devils have won four of their previous five games.
The Kraken beat the Devils 4-3 in overtime in their first meeting.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
New Jersey Devils
29-16-5 (2nd in Pacific Division)
33-12-4 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)
Andre Burakovsky (39)
Jack Hughes (67)
Jared McCann (23)
Jack Hughes (35)
Jordan Eberle (28)
Dougie Hamilton (36)
Adam Larsson (30)
Ryan Graves (27)
Oliver Bjorkstrand (2.58)
Shots (Per Game)
Jack Hughes (4.58)
The Seattle Kraken will travel to New Jersey to face the Devils after facing the New York Islanders. The Kraken beat the Devils 4-3 in their first meeting behind an Andre Burakovsky overtime goal.
The Kraken lost their last game 4-0 but are still in first place in the Pacific Division with 63 points. However, they can fall out of that spot with a loss tonight. On the other side, the Devils are in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 70 points. Regardless of what happens tonight, they will stay in that spot. However, a win could put them within four points of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.
The Kraken failed to make the Playoffs in their inaugural season but have turned it around this year. Seattle has a handful of productive players, and its offense has worked its way into the top five. However, defensively, they have some problems. The Kraken have a mediocre defense and gave up four goals in their previous game. It is not solely their fault. Seattle has two subpar goaltenders in Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer. One of these two will need to improve dramatically before the Playoffs.
The Kraken have six players with 30+ points, but they only have one 20+ goal-scorer (Jared McCann). They will need one more player to start scoring with more efficiency in their final 32 games.
I spoke above about how poor the Kraken’s goaltenders perform, but I want to focus a little more on Martin Jones. Jones is the starter and has an impressive 23 wins, but he also often gives up three or more goals. Even though the Kraken usually win when he is in the net, he needs to be sharper going forward.
The Devils may only have seven more points than the Kraken, but they are in a significantly better position. Their offense is at about the same level as Seattle’s, but their defense and goaltending are much better. New Jersey only gives up 2.68 goals per game (seventh-best in the NHL), and their #1 netminder, Vitek Vanecek, is easily a top-ten goalie.
The Devils are led by Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Dougie Hamilton, and Nico Hischier. These four have at least 46 points and will need to continue excelling as the season progresses.
Vitek Vanecek has greatly contributed to New Jersey’s success this season. His 2.34 goals against average is the fifth-lowest, and his 22 wins are tied for the fourth-most. He must continue impressing in the net.
The Devils are not excellent at home but playing much better than the Kraken as of late. They are not blowing away opposing teams, but they are winning. Bet on New Jersey.
The Kraken are the underdogs but will win if they score in the first ten minutes and slow down Jesper Bratt.
The Kraken were shut out in their previous game for the first time since November 11. It was only their second time failing to score this season, so I would not expect it to happen again. However, Seattle does need to forget about that game and score an early goal. If they do, the momentum will swing in their favor, and any thoughts about their previous game will be gone.
Jack Hughes might miss this game, so Jesper Bratt may be the Devils’ most efficient player. Bratt has the second-most points on the Devils (51) and an impressive +/- of 20. The Kraken defensemen will need to make him priority #1. If they slow him, they will slow down the whole New Jersey offense.
The Devils are the favorites but will only win if they draw penalties and play tough defense.
Neither of these teams have impressive power play units, but the Devils are a little more efficient. New Jersey converts 20.8% of their opportunities. This is not a great percentage, but there are a handful of worse teams. This unit must spend some time on the ice and score at least once in this game.
The Devils’ offense is proven, but they will be facing a Kraken squad that also has a strong offense. They need to figure out how to slow down this offense and stifle their scoring. If they do, this will be an easy win.
I would pick Andre Burakovsky, but he may miss this game with an injury. Since he is questionable to play, I will instead choose Jordan Eberle. Eberle is an efficient player, even though he plays less than 17 minutes a game. The winger has ten goals and 28 assists. He must bring his A-game to this matchup.
I spoke about Jesper Bratt above, but I will go into more detail now. Bratt is an efficient scorer and converts over 15% of his shots. He also scored in the Devils’ previous game against the Vancouver Canucks. He must put another puck in the back of the net this game.
What - Seattle Kraken vs New Jersey Devils
Where - Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
When - Thursday, February 9, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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