NHL betting: Canucks, Kraken to grab road wins Saturday night
Saturday will be an extremely busy day in the NHL as 26 of the league's 32 teams take the ice.
Let's look closer at a couple of cold Western Conference teams that could return to the win column on the road.
Dec. 2, 7 p.m. ET
I'm expecting some value on the road team here. The Senators are in action Friday night and will almost certainly start Joonas Korpisalo. Not only are they desperate for points, but they're also taking on Korpisalo's former team in the Blue Jackets. It's the perfect storm.
Korpisalo playing Friday would very likely mean Anton Forsberg starts Saturday night in Ottawa, which would be a welcome sight for a Kraken team struggling to score goals.
Forsberg has been one of the league's worst goaltenders this season. He owns an .850 save percentage and ranks dead last in goals saved above expected per start.
The Kraken are dealing with some injuries but have always been built off depth rather than relying on one or two players to do all the heavy lifting.
They still have Jared McCann, Matty Beniers, Jordan Eberle, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Eeli Tolvanen, among others, at full health.
That's more than enough talent to give the Senators problems. Ottawa is a subpar team when it comes to limiting shots and scoring chances. Factor in its struggling goaltender and the fact that it's playing in a back-to-back against a fresh Kraken team, and things could get messy.
I like the Kraken at anything close to even money.
Dec. 2, 10 p.m. ET
That said, I think the pendulum has swung a little too far on them right now. They were always going to regress following a start to the season in which absolutely everything went right. That the percentages have leveled out a little bit and they've lost a few games doesn't mean they're suddenly a bad team.
Vancouver ranks top 10 in expected goals for percentage at five-on-five over the last eight games. That's translated to 48.31% of the actual goals, good for 21st in the league.
The team is largely playing better than its record indicates. With a strong five-on-five profile, a dangerous power play, and Thatcher Demko between the pipes, it's only a matter of time before it starts winning games more consistently.
The Flames are a pesky side under head coach Ryan Huska. They lack the horses that can break games open, though, and sit 19th in xGF% over the last two weeks.
Calgary is essentially playing at the caliber of a bubble team. I think this is a good opportunity to buy low on a Canucks outfit looking to dig its feed in the ground on Hockey Night in Canada.
I expect the Canucks to open around even money in this game and would play them up to -130.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @ToddCordell.