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.
Vegas Golden Knights @ Anaheim Ducks
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
Fresh off a 5-4 victory over the Kings in LA the Anaheim Ducks (12-8-3) return home to host the Vegas Golden Knights (12-9-0). Four of the Ducks last five games saw at least 5 goals and three of them hit 6+ goals.
Anaheim brings a slightly below average shooting percentage (7.2% 18th) into this game but their shot volume (731, 31.78/game) is fairly good and they draw a middling amount of PPO (67, 2.91/game). The Ducks generate plenty of offensive chances for themselves, ranking 11th in SCF (473, 20.56/game) and 4th in HDF (164, 7.13/game).
Defensively Anaheim allows their opponents to get their fair share of offensive opportunities, ranking 7th in SCA (495, 21.52/game) and 6th in HDA (153, 6.65/game). They’re also giving up a vast amount of shots against (752, 32.69/game) despite not facing many PPOA (62, 2.69/game).
The Knights begin a quick two game road trip tonight, having won three of their last four games. Vegas has seen their games eclipse 5 or more goals in twelve straight games and five of those games reached 7+ goals.
Besides not generating very many PPO (47, 2.23/game) the Knights’ offense is performing exceptionally well. Vegas has a top ten shooting percentage (8.2% 6th) which is letting them reap the benefits of their great shot totals (688, 32.76/game). They’re also top ten in offensive scoring chance categories, 9th in SCF (498, 23.71/game) and 2nd in HDF (183, 8.71/game).
Vegas’ defensive numbers are actually more enticing than their offense. Defending slightly more PPOA (60, 2.85/game) then they receive themselves and facing consistent high shot volume (698, 33.23/game) the Knights give their opponents plenty of ways to stay in the game. Vegas also ranks top five in defensive scoring chance categories, 3rd in SCA (525, 25/game) and 1st in HDA (180, 8.57/game).
All year Knights’ games have been a great target for fantasy purposes and when they’re facing an equally skilled offensive team that also lacks a strong defense they’re games have the potential for plenty of fireworks.
Colorado Avalanche @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 6
The Colorado Avalanche (11-6-1) kick off a five game East Coast road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs (16-6-1) tonight. Nine of the Avalanche’s last ten games featured 6 or more goals, including six games with 8+ goals.
With their fantastic shooting percentage (9% 3rd) and mouth watering amount of PPO (73, 4.05/game) this Colorado offense is deadly in all situations. The Avs also bring very good shot volume (595, 33.05/game) along with solid scoring opportunity averages, ranking 25th in SCF (397, 22.05/game) and 29th in HDF (114, 6.33/game).
Colorado’s defensive numbers are just slightly behind their own offensive numbers, ranking 31st in SCA (345, 19.16/game) and 25th in HDA (116, 6.44/game). While they limit the number of PPOA (49, 2.72/game) they are facing nearly thirty shots against (539, 29.94/game) per game.
The last time the Maple Leafs played in Toronto they lost, since then they’ve won four consecutive games while averaging 4.5 goals a game and each of their last three games hit 5+ goals.
Toronto’s offense is performing like the best in the league right now, ranking 1st in SCF (625, 27.17/game) and 1st in HDF (185, 8.04/game). Their shot volume (778, 33.82/game) is excellent as well. Their below average shooting percentage (6.9% 21st) and a lack PPO (62, 2.69/game) are the only things slowing this offense down.
While their offense is playing like one of the best Toronto’s defense is doing their best impersonation of a box of tissues. Giving up a healthy amount of shots against (700, 30.43/game) to go along with top ten rankings in scoring chances, 5th in SCA (498, 21.65/game) and 8th in HDA (151, 6.56/game). Only a lack of PPOA (60, 2.6/game) offers this defense any chance of limiting opposing teams.
Both of these teams have their offenses clicking right now and should deliver once again. When two very good offenses meet while playing against below average to bad defenses expect points to be plentiful.