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.
Minnesota Wild @ Florida Panthers
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6 FD 6
The Minnesota Wild (11-5-0) have been alternating wins and losses for their last five games and now head south for a matchup with the Florida Panthers (12-2-3). The Wild have played in sixteen games so far this year and all but one of those games have had at least 5 goals, including eight games that saw 7+ goals. A lot of Minnesota’s offensive production can be attributed to their very efficient shooting percentage (8.6% 3rd) combined with their high shot volume (532, 33.25/game). However they have been fairly good at generating scoring opportunities as well ranking 15th in SCF (341, 21.31/game) and 11th in HDF (106, 6.62/game) in addition to drawing slightly above average PPOs (50, 3.12/game). The Wild’s biggest defensive weakness is their propensity to give their opponents plenty of chances with the man advantage, ranking 5th in PPOA (58, 3.62/game). The rest of the time they’re more than adequate at limiting their opponents’ chances, ranking 30th in SCA (277, 17.31/game) and 31st in HDA (74, 4.62/game) while keeping their shots against (474, 29.62) below league average. After dropping three in a row on the road the Panthers returned home to take out their frustrations on the Islanders (6-1) and the Devils (4-1) in their last two games. Every one of the Panther’s seventeen games this season have seen 5+ goals and seven games have had 7 or more goals. Like their opponents tonight Florida has done a lot of damage by being a highly efficient team with one of the best shooting percentages (8.7% 2nd) in the league paired with exceptional shot volume (596, 35.05/game). Unlike their opponent tonight they also generate an exceptional amount of scoring chances for themselves as well, ranking 2nd in SCF (430, 25.29/game) and 6th in HDF (128,7.52/game) to go along with a solid amount of PPOs (53, 3.11/game). The Panthers rank top five in HDA, 4th (124, 7.29/game), top ten in PPOA, 6th (57, 3.35/game) and shots against, 10th (596, 31.47/game) but are just middle of the pack in SCA, 18th (327, 19.23/game). As the total already alludes to this game should feature plenty of offensive fireworks and fantasy scorers up and down both lineups.
Calgary Flames @ New York Islanders
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Finally completing their thirteen game odyssey of a road trip to start the season the New York Islanders (5-6-2) get to open their new arena against the Calgary Flames (9-3-5) tonight. The Islanders have lost their last five games and four of those five games had 4+ goals. On the year nine of their thirteen games have had at least 5 goals. New York’s overall numbers are skewed since they’ve played three less games than most of the league but their per game averages show a team that generates plenty of offense, ranking 32nd in SCF (270, 20.76/game) and 21st in HDF (96, 7.38/game). They also create plenty of shot volume for themselves (393, 30.23/game), but they’re below average shooting percentage (7% 22nd) and a lack of PPOs (32, 2.46/game) have kept the Islanders from hitting their offensive ceiling. New York does balance out their own dismal man advantage chances by limiting their opponents as well, they keep their PPOA (36, 2.76/game) numbers below league average. That’s the Islanders lone defensive bright spot though, as they check in at 22nd in SCA (323, 24.84/game) and 22nd in HDA (98, 7.53/game) while averaging over 30 shots against (432, 33.23) a game. The Flames have lost four of their last six games coming into tonight’s contest and six of their last nine games have seen 5+ goals. Despite their middling shooting percentage (7.2% 20th) the Flames have performed well offensively generating over 500 shots on goal (588, 34.58/game), checking in at 5th in SCF (389, 22.88/game) and 11th in HDF (106, 6.23/game). They’re giving up slightly more PPOA (55, 3.23/game) than drawing PPO (51, 3/game). Defensively they’ve been very solid ranking 23rd in SCA (315, 18.52/game) and 24th in HDA (96, 5.64/game) while allowing less than 30 shots on goal (502, 29.52/game) a contest. Both of these teams play into the other’s strengths and if they can just increase their efficiency tonight, this game has the potential to feature plenty of fantasy point producers.