Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Vegas Golden Knights vs Seattle Kraken in the Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park. The stadium is the home of the MLB’s Seattle Mariners. Be sure to check out more NHL predictions in the coming days.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 1-0 Kraken
TV: TNT, Max, Sportsnet
One thing to factor into this game is the weather forecast. It won’t be bitterly cold like it was for previous Winter Classics like at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Weather forecasters are saying the game will be cloudy to start with and in the mid 40s Fahrenheit (around six or seven celsius). There may be a small chance for showers, but it’s the Pacific Northwest and there’s always a small chance for rain. This also likely takes the element of snow causing stoppages.
Ice conditions could also play a hand in this game. Despite all the planning and preparing, the ice quality is always a mystery. There have been practices on the surface, but one doesn’t know how things will go on a game day. We do know the gurus that are making the ice are pros and will do the best possible job they can.
The Vegas Story
Logan Thompson is the likely starter in goal for the Golden Knights. However, always check social media before locking in a starter. Vegas did get a big 3-2 win over its Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings. The Golden Knights had been struggling in all phases of the game. However, some of that could be attributed to Thompson and Adin Hill both picking up injuries. Thompson should be ready to go in goal.
Reigning Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Marchessault leads the team in goals with 17 while Mark Stone has 25 assists. Jack Eichel and William Karlsson have also been solid contributors this campaign for the Golden Knights.
The Seattle Story
Joey Daccord has had a breakout season for the Kraken and he’ll likely get the call in between the pipes. This season has been a struggle at times for the third-year club. However, Seattle is only three points off the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. Goals have been hard to come by for the Kraken, who are 27th in the league in goals for.
Seattle took a surprising leap forward in the team’s second season. It even sprung a massive upset over one of the Stanley Cup favourites in the Colorado Avalanche. However, it’s been tougher sledding for the Kraken this campaign. Jared McCann leads the team in goals with 14 while Vince Dunn has 24 assists to lead in that category.
Outdoor games can be tough to gauge since we don’t know how both teams will deal with not playing in a normal indoor environment. How will both teams deal with the nerves of the big moment, as well. Vegas will be the visitor, but it won’t come up snake eyes in its quest to keep with Los Angeles in the division.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-3.
Prop Bet of the Night
We’ll give you a prop bet for each team going into this game. For Vegas, we like Marchessault getting the over on +0.5 points in this one. The veteran seems to do well in big moments like he did with the Stanley Cup Final. As for the Kraken, we like Dunn eclipsing the +0.5 mark as well. However, if you’re feeling frisky, we like Daccord getting the over on 30 saves in this one.
Main photo by: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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The post NHL Predictions: January 1 with the Vegas Golden Knights versus the Seattle Kraken appeared first on Last Word On Hockey.