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 @ Montreal Canadiens
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Montreal Canadiens (6-15-2) return home after going 1-2-0 on their three game road trip, to host the Vancouver Canucks (6-14-2). Through thirteen games this month Montreal has seen 5+ goals in twelve of them.
The Canadiens games have been a fantasy players delight so far this season, with top ten rankings in scoring chance categories, 5th in SCF (505, 21.95/game) and 6th HDF (152, 6.6/game). They’re also forcing teams to give them plenty of PPO (70, 3.04/game). Holding them back has been their average shot volume (689, 29.95/game) and inefficient shooting percentage (6.4% 26th).
Montreal’s defensive numbers are actually more fantasy friendly than their offensive numbers, ranking 3rd in SCA (515, 22.39/game) and 2nd in HDA (166, 7.21/game). They’re giving teams just as many chances with the man advantage, PPOA (70, 3.04/game), as they’ve been getting themselves and they’re allowing over thirty shots against per game (756, 32.86/game).
Vancouver enters tonight’s contest on a four game losing streak and having dropped nine of their last ten overall. Just like their opponents tonight twelve of the Canucks thirteen games this month have featured 5 or more goals.
Vancouver’s disappointing offense mostly stems from their horrendous shooting percentage (5.8% 31st), their inability to finish their offensive opportunities is wasting their fantastic shot volume (739, 33.59/game) and the generous amount of PPO (75, 3.40/game) they receive. The Canucks are middle of the road in the scoring chance categories, ranking 14th in SCF (432, 19.63/game) and 19th in HDF (119, 5.40/game).
Defensively Vancouver is allowing their opponents plenty of shots against (702, 31.9/game) along with facing a fair amount of PPOA (69, 3.13/game). They rank just below average in scoring chances against, 17th in SCA (442, 20.09/game) and 18th in HDA (126, 5.72/game).
Two bad teams that give up plenty of shots and scoring chances to their opponents, it might not look like it based off of their records but this could be a very exciting game with lots of scoring.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Calgary Flames
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
To kick off a five game road trip the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-7-4) head to Western Canada for a matchup with the Calgary Flames (12-4-5). The Pens dropped their last game but have won five of their last six. Five times this month a Penguins game saw 6 or more goals.
Fielding a top flight offense right now, Pittsburgh ranks 4th in SCF (506, 24.09/game) and 7th in HDF (150, 7.14/game) with outstanding shot volume (757, 36.04/game). Their only flaws right now are their abysmal shooting efficiency (6.9% 22nd) and a slightly underwhelming amount of PPO (62, 2.95/game).
Defensively Pittsburgh gives up plenty of shots against (650, 30.95/game) but do a fairly good job of limiting their PPOA (55, 2.61/game). They also do a decent job keeping their opponents offensive chances to a minimum, ranking 19th in SCA (438, 20.85/game) and 22nd in HDA (123, 5.85/game).
The Flames are finishing up a three game home stand and have won four of their last five games. Three of Calgary’s last four games have seen 6 or more goals.
The Flames offensive is above average to very good across the board, ranking 9th in SCF (477, 22.71/game) and 14th in HDF (131, 6.23/game). Their solid shooting percentage (7.2% 15th) allows them to capitalize on their excellent shot volume (726, 34.57/game) and a decent amount of PPO (61, 2.9/game).
Giving up nearly thirty shots against a game (615, 29.28/game) and over three PPOA (68, 3.23/game) is enough to ensure that the Flames’ opponents will have chances to score. However Calgary does fairly well at limiting opponents scoring chances, ranking 28th in SCA (377, 17.95/game) and 27th in HDA (107, 5.09/game).
Both of these teams create plenty of offense all on their own, so the average defense that both of these teams play shouldn’t slow down either teams attacking style very much. There will be an abundance of shots and scoring chances in this one.