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.
With a nice 10 game slate there will be plenty of choices to be made tonight. With every team having played at least two games and some playing as many as five games last year’s stats have been faded out of the breakdown in favor of the more recent data we now have.
Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6.5 FD 6.5
This will be a common theme all season in the breakdown, attacking Canucks games. Vancouver is currently 1-2-1 and every game has featured at least 4 goals. Their games average a juicy 71.25 total shots on goal a game in addition to 6.25 power plays a game. Vancouver also ranks in the top ten of all scoring chance categories, ranking 9th in SCF (74), 8th in SCA (82), 10th in HDF (21) and 9th in HDA (23) providing not just great scoring opportunities for themselves but also every opponent they’ve faced so far. Meanwhile the Blackhawks enter this game at 0-3-1 and every one of their games has had at least 5 goals. The per game averages for Chicago’s games are 60.25 total shots on goal and 6 power plays. Not quite as exciting on their own side of scoring chances, expect the Blackhawks to provide their opponents with plenty of opportunities and do all right for themselves ranking 13th in SCF (68), 4th in SCA (87), 23rd in HDF (16) and 2nd in HDA (31) they let the opposing teams walk all over them and now find themselves playing team they should have no problem going blow for blow with. I’m game stacking this game with confidence.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadiens
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The reason I like this game isn’t so much that I think both teams will be doing a lot of scoring but because the Montreal Canadiens have been identified as a team who can’t seem to stop anyone. They’re 0-4-0 have lost two games by 4 or more goals and have allowed their opponents to score at least 3 goals in 3 out of 4 games. Montreal’s games average 57.75 total shots and 7.5 power plays. Ranking 19th in SCF (64), 13th in SCA (75), 12th in HDF (19) and 10th in HDA (22) the Canadiens will allow the opposition plenty of chances to score and possess just enough offensive ability of their own to hang in there. The Hurricanes are 2-0 and both games went over 7 goals, two games is still a small sample size but those games averaged 70.5 shots on goal and 8 power plays. Carolinas rankings are a little skewed because of their low game total right now, but they put up 47 SCF and 15 HDF through two games with 43 SCA and 14 HDA. I expect Carolina to roll in this one, even if Montreal is desperate for a win and could make it interesting for a bit.
Edmonton Oilers @ Arizona Coyotes
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6.5 FD 6.5
The undefeated Oilers head to the desert to take on the winless Coyotes. Edmonton is a team similar to Vancouver and I intend to attack their games all year. At 3-0-0 the Oilers have not had a game score less than 5 goals and their most recent game featured double digit goals (11). Averaging a gorgeous 75 total shots on goal and 7.3 power plays per game, Oilers games seem to always deliver on offensive excitement. Now being a game down from the majority of the league Edmonton’s actual rankings aren’t impressive on their own but when considering the 1-2 game handicap ranking 19th in SCF (64), 17th in SCA (67), 19th in HDF (17) and 20th in HDA (17) actually presents a very good environment for fantasy scoring. Arizona is 0-2-1 with two of their games going for over 10 goals and their other only having 2. Coyotes games are averaging 59 total shots on goal with 5.6 power plays and their rankings aren’t impressive either, ranking 20th in SCF 63), 22nd in SCA (56), 28th in HDF (14) and 27th in HDA (12) but this game should be a case of one team pushing the other team to find their offense. The Oilers will drive the play and allow the Coyotes to take advantage on counter attacks keeping both teams as playable tonight.