In a matchup that promises to be a battle between the struggling and the surging, the San Jose Sharks take on the Seattle Kraken. The Sharks find themselves in the depths of the Pacific Division, with a 3-14-1 record, while the Kraken have been making waves with a 7-8-5 record, currently sitting in fourth spot. This game holds significant importance for both teams as they aim to secure crucial points in the 2023-2024 NHL season. With the Kraken looking to maintain their momentum and the Sharks desperate to turn their season around, this clash at the Climate Pledge Arena is set to be an intriguing showdown. Here is our Sharks vs Kraken Prediction.
Struggling Offense and Defensive Woes
The San Jose Sharks have found themselves in a challenging position this season, with a dismal record of 3-14-1, making them the eighth-ranked team in the Pacific Division. In their most recent game against the Vancouver Canucks, they experienced a frustrating 3-1 defeat, further emphasizing the uphill battle they face this season.
Offensively, the Sharks have struggled mightily, managing to score a mere 27 goals, a statistic that ranks them dead last in the league for goals scored. This lack of offensive firepower has been a primary factor behind their struggles. Conversely, their defensive woes are glaring, having conceded a league-worst 75 goals against. This significant imbalance between offensive inefficiency and defensive frailty has been a constant hurdle for the Sharks.
When it comes to special teams, the Sharks have faced challenges, with a power play percentage of 17.0% (ranking 22nd) and a penalty kill percentage of 72.7% (ranking 27th). These numbers reflect their struggles both in capitalizing on opportunities with the man advantage and in preventing opponents from doing the same. Furthermore, the Sharks have accumulated 196 penalty minutes, revealing a lack of discipline that has proven costly in critical moments. In goal, Mackenzie Blackwood has shouldered a significant load, maintaining a .900 save percentage and a 3.94 goals-against average.
Offensive Promise and Defensive Challenges
The Seattle Kraken have been making notable strides this season, currently holding a commendable record of 7-8-5, positioning them as the fourth-best team in the Pacific Division. Their recent performance against the Calgary Flames, where they secured a hard-fought 4-3 victory, underscores their potential to compete against formidable opponents.
Offensively, the Kraken have demonstrated promise, tallying 53 goals thus far in the season. This offensive depth is most prominently showcased by Jaden Schwartz, who has found the back of the net eight times. However, there is room for improvement on the defensive front, as they have allowed 70 goals against, placing them 31st in the league in this category. Striking a balance between offensive firepower and defensive stability will be essential for their continued success.
Special teams have been a strong suit for the Kraken, with a power play percentage of 24.6% (ranking 7th). Their ability to capitalize on the man advantage has been a significant asset, often proving decisive in close matchups. On the flip side, their penalty kill has faced some challenges, operating at a 72.1% success rate (ranking 29th). Additionally, they have accumulated 193 penalty minutes, suggesting a need for improved discipline. In the goaltending department, Philipp Grubauer has been solid, boasting a .885 save percentage and a 3.36 goals-against average. Grubauer's consistent performance in the crease will be vital as they aim to sustain their upward trajectory in the standings.
David’s Pick - Seattle Kraken -204
In this clash between the San Jose Sharks and the Seattle Kraken, my pick is the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken have displayed a more balanced performance this season, with a potent power play and the ability to find the back of the net consistently. Furthermore, their recent wins and home-ice advantage at the Climate Pledge Arena give them the edge. With the Sharks struggling to score and having the league's worst defense, it's challenging to see them overcoming the Kraken's offensive prowess. Seattle's special teams, especially their power play, should capitalize on San Jose's penalty troubles. Philipp Grubauer's solid goaltending should also play a pivotal role in securing the win for the Kraken. Overall, the Seattle Kraken's recent form and statistical advantages make them the favorites in this matchup, and I predict they will come out on top.