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.
Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Montreal Canadiens (5-15-2) wrap up a three game road trip tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-6-4). The Canadiens have lost six of their last seven and 4 of their last six games have seen 6+ goals. The Canadiens look good to great in every offensive category besides shooting percentage (6.1% 30th), which unfortunately for them is the stat that determines how often the puck goes in the net.
But everything else is appealing, PPO (66, 3/game), shot volume (656, 29.81/game) and they rank top six in offensive scoring chance numbers, 3rd in SCF (480, 21.81/game) and 6th in HDF (145, 6.59/game).
Montreal’s defense is just as appealing as their offense. Their opponents get plenty of shots to the net (706, 32.09/game) and the Habs give up a good amount of PPOA (67, 3.04/game). The Canadiens are also top three in in both defensive scoring chance rankings, 3rd in SCA (480, 21.81/game) and 3rd in HDA (156, 7.09/game).
Winners of five in a row, the Penguins started this current winning streak with a 6-0 win over the Canadiens. Averaging over thirty five shots a game (707, 35.35/game) while ranking 5th in SCF (471, 23.55/game) and 7th in HDF (140, 7/game) has allowed the Pens to overcome a slightly below average shooting percentage (7.3% 17th).
Special teams wise Pittsburgh draws slightly more PPO (59, 2.95/game) than PPOA (51, 2.55/game). On the defensive side the Penguins are giving up over twenty SCA (413, 20.65) good for 19th and they rank 23rd in HDA (116, 5.27/game), while giving up over thirty shots a game (617, 30.85/game).
Montreal has been involved in a lot of high scoring affairs this year and if they could just start to capitalize on their offensive opportunities they might start winning some of them. Pittsburgh is consistently generating offense and shot volume, expect that to continue tonight in a game that has a great chance to well exceed the over.
Winnipeg Jets @ Calgary Flames
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Coming off of three days rest the Calgary Flames (12-3-5) are riding a four game winning streak as they host the Winnipeg Jets (9-7-4) tonight. Three of the Flames last four games have had 5+ goals, including two games with 7. While Calgary is creating excellent shot volume (690, 34.5/game) they have just an average shooting percentage (7.4% 13th) which has limited their offensive ceiling to this point.
The Flames could stand to draw some more PPO (57, 2.85/game) for themselves. But their scoring chance numbers are very respectable, ranking 9th in SCF (449, 22.45/game) and 15th in HDF (122, 6.1/game).
For Calgary on the defensive side they’re seeing a good amount of PPOA (65, 3.25/game) and nearly thirty shots against a game (587, 29.35/game). But they do look solid when it comes to offensive chances allowed, ranking 27th in SCA (365, 18.25/game) and 27th in HDA (104, 5.2/game).
The Jets have dropped their first two games of the road trip they wrap up in Calgary tonight. Winnipeg has struggled to finish when they’ve gotten chances lately and it’s reflected in their shooting percentage (6.8% 22nd) and their lack of PPO (56, 2.8/game) doesn’t help.
Winnipeg has been generating a great amount of offensive chances though, ranking 9th in SCF (449, 22.45/game) and 8th in HDF (138, 6.9/game). While their shot volume (643, 32.15/game) shows they’re putting plenty of pucks on the opponents net.
Defensively the Jets allow few PPOA (56, 2.8/game) but their opponents are creating plenty of shot volume (635, 31.75/game). Winnipeg also ranks just outside the top ten in defensive scoring chances categories, 11th in SCA (435, 21.75/game) and 11th in HDA (130, 6.5/game).
These teams are evenly matched and they both generate plenty of offensive opportunities on their own, add in the fact that they’re both allowing over or near thirty shots a game and expect plenty of offensive chances for both teams in this one.