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What's ailing the Seattle Kraken?

November 16, 2021 09:09 PM
macneil

Entering the season, there was a lot of uncertainty about what kind of team the Seattle Kraken would be. Most prognosticators, including myself, believed the Kraken would be good defensively and in goal but questioned whether they would have the offensive chops to make the playoffs. However, we’re now a month into the season and the Kraken are the worst team in the Pacific Division with a 4-10-1 record.

In VSiN’s 2021-22 NHL Betting Guide, I wrote that “Seattle to miss the playoffs” at + 115 was a value bet because I predicted the Kraken would miss the playoffs about 56 percent of the time. The bet is looking good now, as DraftKings currently has their chances of making the playoffs at around 20 percent, and it looks like even the most pessimistic forecasts (like mine) could be way off.

At first blush, Seattle’s struggles appear to be in the crease. They ought to be strong in this area, but goaltenders Philipp Grubauer and, to a lesser extent, Chris Driedger have been terrible. Together, they’ve cost the team about 14 goals above expected, according to Evolving Hockey. The team’s on-ice save percentage is a league-worst .863. That’s more than a full percentage point worse than the Arizona Coyotes. With that said, about half of what we see in the standings is luck-driven, and we’re talking about a small sample (16) of games. I don’t think we, as sports bettors, need to worry about the playoffs. But I look at this team as one that could potentially offer some value on a game-to-game basis, though with some added risk involved.

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