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 Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 6
Currently on a four game winning streak the Toronto Maple Leafs (11-5-1) will host the New York Rangers (10-3-3) tonight. The Maple Leafs are averaging 3.25 goals a game during their winning streak and reached 5+ goals once. Only shooting at 6.3% (27th) on the year Toronto has yet to fully reach the ceiling their shot totals and scoring chance numbers suggest they have. They are leading the league in SCF (468, 27.52/game) and HDF (135, 7.94/game) to go along with 580 shots for, 34.11 a game. While the Leafs’ have featured below average special teams opportunities, 2.82/game PPO and 2.82/game PPOA, they’re defense still gives up plenty of chances for their opponents to stay competitive every night, checking in at 8th in SCA (360, 21.17/game) and 10th in HDA (105, 6.17/game) while facing 514 shots against, 30.23 a game. The Rangers also bring a four game winning streak into tonight’s contest and all four of their wins had 5 or more combined goals while three of those games had 7+. New York’s above average shooting percentage (7.7% 12th) has allowed them to take advantage of their middling offensive numbers, ranking 20th in SCF (303, 18.93/game), 23rd in HDF (87, 5.43/game) and putting up 450 shots for, 28.12 a game. The Rangers’ games have seen slightly above average special teams opportunities, 3.12/game PPO and 3.06/game PPOA. While their offense has been above average and efficient, New York’s defense has given up chances at some of the highest rates in the league, 3rd in SCA (394, 24.62/game) and 4th in HDA (116, 7.25/game) and have faced 536 shots against, averaging out to 33.5 a game. This game looks like an offensive showcase with the Leafs likely to provide more fantasy points than their opponent.
Detroit Red Wings @ Vegas Golden Knights
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
In the middle of a four game road trip and having dropped three of their last four the Detroit Red Wings (8-8-2) head west for a matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights (9-7-0). Detroit’s games have seen 5 or more goals in seven of their last eight. The Red Wings have been one of the best teams so far at generating scoring opportunities and shots on goal, ranking 8th in SCF (359, 19.94/game), 8th in HDF (110, 6.11/game) with 525 shots for, a 29.16 per game average, but their bottom half of the league shooting percentage (7.3% 18th) has been holding them back. Detroit’s special teams numbers are slightly above average, 3/game PPO and 3.22/game PPOA. While they’ve been good at generating their own offensive chances they’ve been phenomenal at giving their opponents opportunities, ranking 1st in SCA (446, 24.77/game), 2nd in HDA (137, 7.61/game) and having faced 616 shots against, 34.22 a game. Vegas host tonight’s contest having won five of their last seven games, all of those games had 5+ goals and six of those seven had 6 or more goals. With a top ten shooting percentage (8% 8th), over five hundred shots on goal (514, 32.12/game) and top ten rankings in both SCF 9th (353, 22.06/game) and HDF 2nd (129, 8.06/game) the Knights’ offensive is hitting its stride right now. Not to be out done, Vegas’ defensive is as feeble as their offense is potent, checking in at 2nd in SCA (412, 25.75/game), 1st in HDA (148, 9.25/game) with 552 shots against, 34.5 a game. While their special teams numbers underwhelm, 2.18/game PPO and 2.81/game PPOA, their back and forth style of play more than makes up for the lack of power plays. This game is a great bet to hit the over and might end up the highest scoring game on the slate tonight.