- Date & Location: Tuesday, October 12 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Florida.
- Odds: Vegas Golden Knights (-238) vs. Seattle Kraken (+212) via BetOnline
- Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights to win
The 2021-22 NHL season opens on Tuesday, October 12, with the 2021 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning raising their championship banner to the rafters of the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida prior to their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Lightning begin their pursuit of a third-straight Stanley Cup victory as the favorites over the Pens. In the late game of opening day the Seattle Kraken make their NHL regular season debut against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Seattle Kraken put defense first during the expansion draft. The team scored former Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano as well as Jamie Oleksiak, Vince Dunn and Adam Larsson to man the blueline. It then locked up Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer to secure the net. Grubauer is coming off a season in Colorado where he put together a 30-9 run with a .922 save percentage to go along with a 1.95 GAA, which was the second best GAA in the NHL. Grubauer also led the NHL with seven shutouts.
The team is likely going to need that defense to shine, because offense could be a problem for Seattle in its inaugural season.
The team has eight forwards who scored 10 or more goals last season, but no one on the team netted more than 17 goals in 2020-21, which means the team does not have a player who was in the top 50 in goal scoring last season. That could be a problem for Seattle.
Seattle Kraken to defeat Vegas Golden Knights + 200 via BetUS
Vegas Golden Knights
The big change for Vegas comes between the pipes as Marc-Andre Fleury is gone, and the crease now belongs to Robin Lehner. An enormous amount of pressure will be on Lehner as Fleury played more games than him last season and also put up better numbers. The most games the 30-year-old Lehner has played in a season is 59 and that came in 2016-17. Vegas might have to rely on off-season backup signing Laurent Brossoit.
Vegas is hoping Nolan Patrick will recapture some of the magic he had when he put up when Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon coached him in the WHL from 2014-16. Patrick scored 158 points during that span and his exploits had him pegged as a potential superstar. At just 23, Patrick still has time to develop into an above average NHL player.
Vegas Golden Knights to defeat Seattle Kraken -238 via SportsBetting.
Lehner has already become a potential distraction for Vegas as he’s been making accusations that some NHL clubs are pressuring players to play through injury and worse. I think the team will welcome the time on the ice and the ability to focus on playing hockey. That should make them a focused team.
Preseason is not the best time to gauge a team, but the Kraken did not do well in producing goals in its seven games before the start of the 2021-22 NHL season, putting the puck in the net just 16 times.
I think Seattle is in for a rocky start and I see them falling to Vegas in their first NHL game.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights defeat Seattle Kraken at -250 via Bovada.
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