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.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Vancouver Canucks
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6 FD 6.5
Fresh off handing the previously undefeated Edmonton Oilers (5-1-0) their first loss the Philadelphia Flyers (3-1-1) continue their trip through Western Canada squaring off against the Vancouver Canucks (3-3-1). The last time these teams met they combined for 9 goals. Philadelphia’s most recent game featured 8 goals and all five of their games this year have had at least 6 total goals with three games having at least 8. On the year Flyers’ games are averaging 7.6 goals, 64.2 total shots with 6.6 power plays. Still having played a couple less games than most of the league Philadelphia’s scoring chance rankings are a bit misleading, 31st in SCF (100), 26th in SCA (113), 25th in HDF (35) and 14th in HDA (40). What stands out is that despite playing two or more less games than half the league the Flyers still rank in the top half in HDA. Their per game averages show a team that both creates their own chances and gives up plenty of opportunities to their opponents, 20 – SCF, 22.6 – SCA, 7 – HDF and 8 – HDA. Vancouver’s last three games all had at least 5 goals and the Canucks scored at least 4 goals in two fo their last three. Currently Vancouver’s games average 5.5 goals, 64.4 total shots and 6.2 power plays. Through seven games the Canucks rank 29th in SCF (111), 5th in SCA (152), 32nd in HDF (29) and 11th in HDA (42). The numbers clearly show that Vancouver is still a team that allows plenty of chances to their opponents but they haven’t yet found their own offensive game, but the Flyers are just the team to get them on track. There should be no shortage of fantasy options in this one.
Buffalo Sabres @ Anaheim Ducks
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Coming off of a win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning the Buffalo Sabres (4-1-1) head west to take on the Anaheim Ducks (2-4-1). Two of Buffalo’s last three games have featured at least 5 combined goals. The Sabres games are averaging 6.3 goals, 64.1 total shots and 5.6 power plays through six games this year. Buffalo’s been generating a good amount of scoring opportunities for themselves based on their rankings, coming in at 12th in SCF (130), 29th in SCA (105), 27th in HDF (33) and 23rd in HDA (33). Despite the underwhelming numbers, Buffalo’s high shot total average, top 12 ranking for SCF and 6.3% (24th) team shooting percentage, show there’s untapped offensive potential here. The Ducks last three games all had 6 or more goals and Anaheim has given up at least 4 or more goals in five straight games. The Ducks’ games have had 6.2 goals, 65.2 total shots and 6.7 power plays per game. Seven games into the season Anaheim has proven to be a team that couldn’t slow down an NCAA team, ranking 20th in SCF (125), 3rd in SCA (165), 13th in HDF (40) and 5th in HDA (48). With Anaheim struggling to stop anyone and Buffalo generating an above average number of chances, I like the Sabres offensive skill players to perform closer to their ceilings in this one.
Minnesota Wild @ Seattle Kraken
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Minnesota Wild (5-1-0) continue their road trip with a stop in Seattle to play the Kraken (2-4-1). Three of Minnesota’s last four games have had at least 7 goals, including an 11 goal game against the Jets. Through six games this season the Wild’s games have averaged 6.3 goals, 64.1 total shots and 8 power plays. Minnesota has proven to be a good potentially great offensive early in the season, ranking 8th in SCF (142), 31st in SCA (15.8), 6th in HDF (43) and 32nd in HDA (25). Their 23.6 SCF per game average combined with a middling shooting percentage (7.4% 15th) shows theirs room for improvement from an offense already exceeding expectations. Six out of seven of Seattle’s games have featured at least 6 goals, including their last four. Seven games into their inaugural season and the Kraken’s games average 6 goals, 54.5 total shots and 5.2 power plays. Seattle isn’t highlighted in this space because of their rankings so much but because they’ve proven to allow teams to score on them at will, they check in at 18th in SCF (126), 15th in SCA (132), 16th in HDF (39) and 23rd in HDA (33). Seattle has allowed 4 or more goals in each of their last four games and that seems like it could be a trend all season, Minnesota’s offensive weapons should be able to feast tonight.