The Seattle Kraken have won eight of their last nine games.
The Edmonton Oilers are on a three-game winning streak.
The Kraken are 1-1-0 against the Oilers this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
26-12-4 (2nd in Pacific Division)
20-17-2 (4th in Metropolitan Division)
Matty Beniers (36)
Connor McDavid (83)
Jared McCann (22)
Connor McDavid (37)
Jordan Eberle (25)
Connor McDavid (46)
Adam Larson (30)
Darnell Nurse (13)
Oliver Bjorkstrand (2.53)
Shots (Per Game)
Connor McDavid (4.07)
The Seattle Kraken will travel across the border to face the Oilers for the third time this season. Seattle destroyed the Oilers 7-2 in their first matchup, but Edmonton tied up the season series with a 5-2 win less than a week later.
The Kraken failed to make the Playoffs last season but are sitting in the second spot in the Pacific Division this season with 54 points. However, Seattle can move up one spot with a win tonight. A win (and Vegas Golden Knights loss) would push them to first. Conversely, the Oilers are in the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with 51 points.
The Kraken do not have any stars but play great team hockey. They average a little over 3.75 goals per game and have the NHL’s sixth-best offense. Defensively, they are also quite impressive. Seattle allows less than 28 shots a game and just over three goals. Their defense (and goaltending) sometimes gets the Kraken in trouble, but overall, they hold their own.
The Kraken have very few All-Stars, but some reliable players in Andre Burakovsky, Matty Beniers, and Jared McCann. These three players bring different skills to their team but have each contributed significantly to their success. They each have at least 30 points and 12 goals.
The Kraken have a workhorse goaltender in Martin Jones. Jones has played in 31 games and has 21 wins. The veteran is not an exceptional netminder but has been doing the job for Seattle.
On paper, the Oilers are a top-ten team. However, their season is not going according to plan this year. Offensively, they are performing well, but their defense has been suspect. In addition, their goaltenders are not performing up to their potential. Jack Campbell was signed in free agency to be the #1 netminder in Edmonton but has been a shell of himself this season and was relegated to the #2 spot. If Campbell improves and the defense steps up, the Oilers may have a chance in the Playoffs.
The Oilers’ offense is run through their center trio of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. McDavid is the star in this group (and has a league-leading 83 points), but Draisaitl is right behind him, and Nugent-Hopkins is an excellent third option. I will not go into these players’ stats, but I will say they are each dangerous on the ice.
The Oilers will look to goaltender Jack Campbell tonight as Stuart Skinner nurses an injury. Campbell is having a tough season but has only given up six goals in his previous three starts.
The Kraken have a more well-rounded squad than the Oilers but are coming off a loss yesterday. Under normal circumstances, I would bet on them to win this game behind their offense. However, this game is different. Bet on Edmonton.
The Kraken are the underdogs but will win if they slow down Connor McDavid and shoot as much as possible.
The Kraken have an impressive squad, but no player on their roster compares to Connor McDavid. McDavid might be the best player in the NHL and is always a threat when on the ice. Seattle needs to make him a priority #1 and slow him down as much as possible.
The Oilers are the favorites but will only emerge victorious if they draw penalties and let Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl lose.
The Oilers continue to have the best power-play unit in the NHL. They convert over 31% of their opportunities, and over 30% of their goals have come with a man advantage. Edmonton must draw penalties and get this unit on the ice. The power play unit needs to get a lot of ice time and take advantage of it.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are easily the best center duo in the NHL. Almost 40% of Edmonton’s goals come from these two, which is why they need to be let loose and play the game the way they choose.
Jared McCann is a unique player. The 26-year-old only has eight assists but is an incredibly efficient shooter. McCann has 22 goals and is converting almost 28% of his shots. This is an impressive stat line and one that cannot be ignored.
McCann must provide offense for Seattle in this game. He is the Kraken’s top scorer and needs to act like it.
Leon Draisaitl is a top-ten player but does not receive as much attention because he plays on the same team as Connor McDavid. However, he is still an incredible talent that can score and pass.
The Kraken will likely pay more attention to McDavid when these two are on the ice together. If that happens, Draisaitl will have many opportunities. He needs to take advantage of those opportunities and put one in the back of the net.
What - Seattle Kraken vs Edmonton Oilers
Where - Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
When - Tuesday, January 17, 9:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
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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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