Here in the breakdown we’re going to identify the games with the best fantasy scoring environments for everyday of the NHL season. To do this we’re going to look at teams’ scoring chances for (SCF), scoring chances against (SCA), high danger chances for (HDF), high danger chances against (HDA), power play opportunities (PPO) and power play opportunities against (PPOA). The reason for applying those stats to this particular exercise is because they are the best indicator of a team’s scoring opportunities and we want to identify games with teams that possess the best combination of quality and quantity of scoring opportunities. I’ll also offer some of my favorite individual plays from each game using average time on ice (ATOI), average power play time on ice (PPTOI) and team role. We’ll be looking for players on one of the top two scoring lines and players on one of a team’s power play units.
Just a two game slate tonight so I’ll be going through both games for the breakdown. I’m going to change things up a bit and get away from individual player recommendations. Game environments and player correlation are just so much more important as opposed to finding individual plays for each game.
Boston Bruins @ Philadelphia Flyers
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Coming off a 6-1 victory over the expansion Seattle Kraken, after a failed comeback attempt against Vancouver to open the season, the Philadelphia Flyers (1-0-1) host the Boston Bruins (1-0-0) at the Wells Fargo Center. Boston beat up on the Stars 3-1 to open their season on Saturday. With these teams only having played three games between them it’s difficult to get very much information on the current editions of these franchises, however the Bruins did fire 40 shots on goal against Dallas and the Flyers have 62 shots on goal through two games and have scored at least 4 goals in each. There’s plenty of potential for offense in this game. Based off of last year’s statistics this game should be evenly matched with a slight offensive edge to the Flyers. Philadelphia ranked 9th in SCF (695), 29th in SCA (483), 7th in HDF (193) and 28th in HDA (121), while Boston ranked 19th in SCF (567), 18th in SCA (604), 23rd in HDF (140), and 16th in HDA (163). Based off of the 40 shots on goal the Bruins were able to get off against the Stars I expect this game to be close scoring with potential to go off. Philadelphia was middle of the pack in both special teams opportunity categories last year, ranking 12th in PPO (167) and 15th in PPOA (167), while Boston was middle of the road in PPO (160) 16th and ranked 4th in PPOA (178). With the Bruins habit of putting their opponents on the power play I intend to focus on Flyers line mates who also play on the power play together to maximize my high value opportunities and correlation.
St. Louis Blues @ Vegas Golden Knights
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6 FD 5.5
The undefeated St. Louis Blues (2-0-0) head to Vegas to take on the 1-1 Golden Knights. The Blues beat the Avs 5-3 in a game that featured 60 shots on goal then took out the Coyotes 7-4. Vegas welcomed the Kraken to the league by handing them a 4-3 loss on opening night then before taking an L themselves when the Kings put up a half dozen on them in a 6-2 game. Both Vegas games this season have gone over 7 total goals and 60 shots on goal, including 72 shots on goal when they played LA. The Blues have had both of their games go over 8 total goals with the Arizona game reaching 11 and their two games totaled 119 shots on goal. Last year the Blues ranked 30th in SCF (479), 7th in SCA (724), 29th in HDF (120) and 9th in HDA (194) looking at their two games so far this year it looks like St. Louis is still going to provide their opponents with plenty of offensive opportunities but they appear to have found their own offensive game. Last year the Golden Knights ranked 1st in SCF (879), 21st in SCA (554), 1st in HDF (266) and 19th in HDA (150) when your offense leads the league in both scoring chance opportunities you’re bound to see some regression but this is still a potent offense. The surprising thing to see is the success opposing offenses have had against the Golden Knights after they were so successful at smothering teams last year. Expect Vegas to get some power play opportunities in this one after ranking 8th in PPO (174) and 27th in PPOA (144) and the Blues ranked 21st in PPO (155) and 11th in PPOA (171). Initially looking at this game it seems like the Golden Knights should roll but looking over the first two games for these teams I think it will be closer than it appears and should also feature plenty of scoring and a fantasy friendly environment, I’m game stacking this game confidently.