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.
Vancouver Canucks @ Boston Bruins
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Boston Bruins (10-7-0) are winners of four out of their last six games as they welcome the Vancouver Canucks (6-13-2) into town tonight. Boston has played ten games so far in the month of November and all but two of them have featured 6+ goals.
The Bruins have only played seventeen games but they are creating a good amount of scoring opportunities for themselves, ranking 27th in SCF (364, 21.41/game) and 20th in HDF (115, 6.76/game). With a basement level shooting percentage (6.2% 29th) Boston hasn’t been able to capitalize on their incredible shot volume (615, 36.17/game) or their above average PPO (52, 3.05/game).
Defensively the Bruins are nothing special, slightly limiting shots against (484, 28.47/game) and middle of the pack in PPOA (51, 3/game). While their defensive scoring opportunity numbers show a team allowing a mild amount of chances per game, ranking 32nd in SCA (307, 18.05/game) and 31st in HDA (90, 5.29/game).
The Canucks head into Boston on a three game losing streak, having lost eight of their last nine and eleven of their last twelve games have seen 5+ goals, including three games with 8 or more goals. Vancouver ranks 14th in SCF (417, 19.85/game) and 19th in HDF (116, 5.52/game) with a good amount of PPO (71, 3.38/game). While their offensive ceiling isn’t as high as Boston’s, Vancouver’s shooting efficiency (5.9% 31st) has wasted their very good shot volume (701, 33.38/game).
Vancouver has carried over last year’s habit of being a below average defensive team, ranking 12th in SCA (427, 20.33/game) and 18th in HDA (122, 5.80/game). While giving up a fair amount of PPOA (66, 3.14/game) and plenty of shots against (660, 31.42/game).
The Bruins certainly have the higher upside in this matchup but there’s reason for hope on the Vancouver side. The Canucks shot volume will give them plenty of chances to put up points and keep pace with Boston.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Anaheim Ducks
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Toronto Maple Leafs (15-6-1) are undefeated so far on their current road trip and have won eight of their last nine as they prepare to take on the Anaheim Ducks (11-7-3) tonight. Each of Toronto’s last two games had 5+ goals including an 8 goal showcase with the Kings.
The Maple Leafs offense is firing on all cylinders right now, ranking 1st in SCF (602, 27.36/game) and 1st in HDF (177, 8.04/game). Their shot volume (747, 33.95/game) is exceptional as well even though they could use a few more PPO (61, 2.77/game) and their shooting percentage (6.6% 23rd) shows this offense has even higher heights to reach.
Making their games even more exciting is that Toronto’s defense makes their opponents offense seem as effective as their own. The Leafs rank 5th in SCA (472, 21.45/game) and 6th in HDA (144, 6.54/game). They do keep their PPOA (59, 2.68/game) to a minimum but are allowing plenty of shots against (660, 30/game).
One of the early surprises this season the Ducks come into this game third in the Pacific division and having won nine of their last twelve games. Eight of those twelve games have featured 5+ goals, including two of their last three.
Anaheim has been taking advantage of their offensive opportunities with a very efficient shooting percentage (7.5% 12th) and solid shot volume (655, 31.19/game). The Ducks rank 13th in SCF (420, 20/game) and 4th in HDF (149, 7.09/game) with an above average amount of PPO (64, 3.04/game).
Anaheim’s lack of defense lets their opponents create plenty of offensive opportunities, ranking 10th in SCA (446, 21.23/game) and 8th in HDA (135, 6.42/game). Their opponents shot volume (687, 32.71/game) exceeds their own despite limiting their PPOA (60, 2.85/game).
The Maple Leafs will dictate the pace and play of this game but expect Anaheim to be able to counter punch and keep this game close.