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The Vegas Golden Knights travel to Seattle to take on the Kraken. Handicapper Ben Rajavuori breaks down the game and shares his pick.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Seattle Kraken Best Bet: Back the Kraken

A battle between the league's youngest teams will take place at Climate Pledge Arena tonight. The Vegas Golden Knights sit in fourth place in the pacific division (36-28-4 record) and are currently having one of their worst seasons since debuting in 2017. The Seattle Kraken sit in dead last in the pacific division and have no playoffs aspirations. These two teams have met twice already this year, with the Knights taking both meetings at home. The third meeting will give the Kraken the home ice. Can the Kraken notch their first head-to-head win against the Knights tonight?

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The Golden Knights are having a tough season this year. After having one of the most successful debut seasons for an American professional team ever, they are now sitting at their worst record since joining the league and having less than a 50% chance to make the playoffs as of now.

The injuries have not helped, though, and the Knights have multiple key players out. Both goalies Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit are dealing with injuries and have left the workload to Logan Thompson, a second-year player with nine total NHL starts. Thompson has looked pretty good and has started his career with the Knights with a 5-4 record as a starter, 2.89 goals allowed average, and a .914 save percentage. Those are pretty good numbers for a young starter, but perhaps some of it is beginner's luck. As a goalie makes more starts in the NHL, teams pick up more tape and learn their weaknesses a bit better. Like, is he weaker glove-side? Does he leave the five-hole open on breakaways? Teams begin to pick up on these things, but since Thompson doesn't have much playing time, there isn't much known about him.

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Also, his home/road splits are noticeable. Thompson sports an impressive 4-1 record at home with a .930 save percentage and 2.42 goals allowed average, which is impressive. However, on the road, Thompson has a 1-3 record with a .896 save percentage and 3.41 goals allowed average. These are small sample sizes since he doesn't have much time on the ice, but perhaps for the young goalie, he's more comfortable in front of his home crowd.

It's not just the goalies that are injured for the Knights, though. William Carrier, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and Reilly Smith are all talented wing players for the Knights that will miss this contest, the biggest being Stone and Smith. This takes a massive chunk out of the Knight's scoring options, on top of the goalie injuries.

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The Kraken have had a less-than-ideal debut season, sporting the second-worst record in the Western Conference. They can thank the Knights, though, since the league changed the expansion rules after the Knights formed a super team that made a playoff run in the 2017-18 season. Because of that, the Kraken weren't able to build quite as powerful of a team and have made trades that benefit their future more than the current season as a result. There are still some brights spots on this team, though.

Winger Daniel Sprong was acquired from the Capitals earlier in the month and has scored in all three of his first games with the Kraken. The Kraken play solid defense, ranking fourth-best in the league in shots allowed per game. With the offensive addition of Sprong to an already solid defense, the future could be bright for this team. It's the goaltending that has plagued the Kraken.

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Despite allowing the fourth-least shots per game, they are 27th in goals allowed per game. Grubauer has not been on his game lately, but when he is on point, he is one of the best in the league. Grubauer actually was a Vezina trophy nominee last season, and I'm sure the Kraken thought they would get a better performance from the goalie when he joined. He does play better at home, though. He is a measly 5-14 on the road and a near-even 10-13 at home.

The Knights are not in a great spot right now. They are 0-7 in their last seven road games and have many injuries to their offense and goalies. Seattle is a comparable team to Vegas on defense, and Grubauer is a better goalie than Thompson. Sprong is hot for the Kraken and has played better at home. In both head-to-head meetings this year, the Kraken were actually able to keep both generally close despite playing on the road. Tonight is an excellent spot to back the Kraken to get their first win against a banged-up Knights team. Back the Kraken here.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Seattle Kraken Best Bet:

Pick: Kraken ML (+140) (Bet $100 to Win $140)

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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