Here in the environmental study 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.
New York Islanders @ Montreal Canadiens
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
After fours days of rest the New York Islanders (3-2-2) head north of the border to take on the Montreal Canadiens (3-8-0). Two of New York’s last three games were shutout victories but their other five games all featured 5 or more goals. To date Islanders’ games average 4.8 goals, 63.1 total shots on goal and 5.7 power plays. New York brings a middle of the pack shooting percentage (7.5% 12th) and their scoring chance rankings underwhelm, ranking 32nd in SCF (130), 27th in SCA (164), 29th in HDF (45) and 21st in HDA (53). Having only played in seven games their overall rankings in SCA and HDA don’t look enticing but they’re averaging over 23 SCA per game (23.4) and over 7 HDA per game (7.5), the normally stingy Islanders are a team that’s giving their opponents plenty of opportunities to score these days. After looking like a punching bag for their first five games the Canadiens have traded impressive victories with ugly losses over their last six and seven of their games this year have featured 5 or more goals. Montreal’s games are averaging 5 goals, 58.5 total shots on goal and 7.1 power plays so far this season. The Habs scoring chance rankings are what fantasy managers dream about, ranking in the top ten in all four major categories 5th in SCF (211), 8th in SCA (213), 5th in HDF (70) and 5th in HDA (70). Montreal’s excellent scoring chances rankings paired with their very low shooting percentage (6.1% 28th) suggests this offense is ready to explode. This game has a great chance to hit the over and if Montreal can push the Islanders enough this game might turn into a full blown shootout.
Vegas Golden Knights @ Ottawa Senators
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Fresh off getting shut out by the Maple Leafs the Vegas Golden Knights (4-5-0) continue their road trip with a match up against the Ottawa Senators (3-5-1). All but one of Vegas’ games have featured at least 4 goals and four of their nine games have had 7 or more goals. On the season the Knights’ games average 5.5 goals, 67.1 total shots on goal and 4.2 power plays. Probably the only team with a better set of scoring chance rankings for fantasy point purposes than the Canadiens, Vegas checks in with top three rankings in three out of the four major categories, 6th in SCF (205), 3rd in SCA (243), 2nd in HDF (75) and 1st in HDA (97). Their bottom third ranked shooting percentage (6.2% 26th) has prevented the Knights from realizing their full offensive potential. The Senators are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to the Wild and that’s their fifth straight game with 5 or more goals, including two games that saw at least 9 goals. For the year Ottawa’s games average 6 goals, 63 total shots on goal and 6.2 power plays. The Senators scoring chance numbers tell the story of a team that is going to play in a lot of high scoring games, ranking 9th in SCF (203), 7th in SCA (215), 13th in HDF (57) and 4th in HDA (74), meanwhile their shooting percentage is just middle of the pack (7.3% 17th) suggesting this offense has an even higher ceiling than we’ve seen. Both of these teams look like they’re ready for track meets every time they take the ice and tonight should be no different.
Detroit Red Wings @ Boston Bruins
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Detroit Red Wings (4-4-2) are riding a three game losing streak as they take on the Boston Bruins (4-3-0). Five out of Detroit’s last six games have seen 5 or more goals and two of those five hit 9 goals. The Red Wings’ games are averaging 6.3 goals, 63.7 total shots on goal and 7 power plays. Detroit’s team defense is a cure all for any struggling offense, ranking 21st in SCF (179), 1st in SCA (252), 19th in HDF (55) and 2nd in HDA (89). Their middling shooting percentage (7.4% 13th) paired with their average ranked SCF and HDF suggest they’re playing at their ceiling and we shouldn’t anticipate a spike performance tonight. Boston has seen 5 or more goals in five of their last six games. On the season the Bruins’ games have averaged 5.2 goals, 62.5 total shots on goal and 5.7 power plays, Boston also brings in a basement level shooting percentage (5.4% 30th). On the surface their scoring chance numbers look ugly, 30th in SCF (155), 32nd in SCA (127), 25th in HDF (50) and 32nd in HDA (35) but as another team that’s only played seven games, those numbers can be a little misleading. The Bruins are averaging over 7 HDF per game (7.1) and over 22 SCF a game (22.1) showing that Boston is generating plenty of offensive opportunities. The Bruins offense has been slow to get started this season having only scored 4+ goals in just two games this year but this matchup sets up nicely for them to get themselves right.