The Edmonton Oilers lost four of five heading into the Christmas break (1-2-2) but came out a winner on the other side, beating Calgary 2-1 at the Saddledome on Tuesday to cash as +132 underdogs. Now the Oilers play another team they are jockeying with in the Pacific in a visit to the Seattle Kraken.
Like Edmonton, the Kraken also met up with the Flames in their first game out of the break but lost 3-2 at home on Wednesday, even with Calgary being in back-to-back. Despite that setback for Seattle, these two teams tied with 40 points on the year are also dead even on the odds, with both being -110 for Friday night’s tilt.
McDavid Still on Fire for Edmonton
It should come as no surprise at this point, but Connor McDavid’s 16-game point streak is still impressive. He hasn’t been shut out since November 23rd, tallying 16 goals and 17 assists over that span. McDavid only has four clean sheets in 31 games this season.
Despite McDavid’s remarkable run, the Oilers are just 9-7 during his streak. They averaged 3.4 goals/game in the five contests leading up to the mini-break and lost four of those tilts, which points to some serious questions with the Edmonton defense.
Goaltender Stuart Skinner has put up middle-of-the-pack goaltending numbers this season, so the fact that the Oilers are 5-5 in his 10 starts this month is not a surprise. The Kraken have a couple of five goals scored outings in their last three games, so Skinner’s stretch of giving up 3+ goals in four of the last five will likely continue Friday.
Kraken Try to Even Series
Friday’s meeting is the fourth career head-to-head contest between the Kraken and Oilers, with Edmonton taking two of three with a split in Seattle last year. Seattle would love to get a win on Friday and even up their franchise series with Edmonton while also breaking out of a mini-funk they are in right now.
Seattle has gone 3-6-1 over their last ten games, although they have been good in conference games, winning seven of the last nine vs. the West. The Kraken went into the break with a 5-2 win over St. Louis but then a 6-5 SO loss to the Canucks, so at least the offense was working, but now that’s in limbo following the 3-2 defeat against Calgary on Wednesday.
Philipp Grubauer faced 44 shots vs. the Flames last time out, stopping 41 of those, so it’s hard to pin the loss solely on him. Even so, the Kraken are now 1-5 in the last six Grubauer starts, so something isn’t working there.
Oilers at Kraken Pick
The Oilers are good – but perhaps not as good as they should be with offensive talent like McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Both Edmonton and the Kraken have 40 points, and the game is in Seattle, but the home team is struggling a bit right now while the visitors are merely average.
In a game where both clubs are -110, you have to ride with the Oilers and their offensive potential.
Pick: Edmonton -110