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.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 6
The Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-5) finish up a five game road trip tonight with a matchup against the Washington Capitals (16-4-6). Pittsburgh has gone 2-1-1 in the first four games of the trip and three of those games saw 5 or more goals.
The Penguins’ offense is creating even strength opportunities at a level among the leagues best, ranking 6th in SCF (598, 23.92/game) and 10th in HDF (173, 6.92/game). They also have an incredible amount of shot volume (888, 35.52/game), a few more PPO (72, 2.88/game) and better shooting efficiency (7.1% 20th) would have this offense reaching new heights.
Pittsburgh’s defense does a nice job of keeping their opponents in check, ranking 20th in SCA (516, 20.64/game) and 26th in HDA (147, 5.88) and limiting the amount of PPOA (62, 2.48/game). They do contend with a fair amount of shots against (756, 30.24/game) but their top ten save percentage (.933 8th) prevents most of them from getting in the net.
The Capitals are wrapping up a four game home stand tonight and they’ve picked up points in the first three games, going 2-0-1. Washington has seen 7 or more goals in six of their last eight games.
Washington’s league leading shooting percentage (9.7% 1st) is just the tip of their offensive numbers. They also rank top ten in both scoring chance categories, 8th in SCF (586, 22.53) and 6th in HDF (182, 7/game). Those impressive numbers allow them to overcome mediocre shot volume (801, 30.8/game) and a slightly underwhelming amount of PPO (74, 2.84/game).
Defensively the Caps find themselves middle of the road across the board, checking in at 18th in SCA (536, 20.61/game) and 13th in HDA (167, 6.42/game) with just a middling amount of PPOA (64, 2.46/game) to deal with. Their amount of shots against (731, 28.11/game) isn’t very exciting and their save percentage (.931 11th) ranks just beneath the leagues best.
Both of these teams bring excellent offenses into this matchup along with above average to average defenses. It’s not perfect but there’s plenty of firepower on both sides to give this game a chance to be one of the highest scoring games on the slate.
Detroit Red Wings @ Colorado Avalanche
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6.5 FD 6.5
The Colorado Avalanche (14-7-2) finished up their road trip with back to back victories and now host the Detroit Red Wings (13-11-3). The Avs games have featured 10 or more goals in four of their last five.
The Avs elite level shooting percentage (9.3% 2nd) is ensuring they take advantage of their healthy shot volume (780, 33.91/game) and the exceptional amount of PPO (92, 4/game) they are drawing. Their per game scoring chance numbers are strong too, ranking 23rd in SCF (498, 21.65/game) and 24th in HDF (144, 6.26/game) despite having played only twenty three games.
Colorado’s defensive story starts in their crease where their brutal save percentage (.909 31st) is letting down what is mostly an average defensive corps. Ranking 31st in SCA (442, 19.21/game) and 25th in HDA (149, 6.47/game), while contending with just a normal amount of PPOA (67, 2.91/game) and shots against (696, 30.26/game).
The Red Wings have dropped their last two games after winning five straight. Detroit has seen 5 or more goals in six of their last seven games which in includes 7+ in each of their last four.
Detroit brings an average offense into this contest, ranking 20th in SCF (520, 19.25/game) and 19th HDF (155, 5.74/game). Their shot volume (770, 28.51/game) and low amount of PPO (70, 2.59/game) are propped up by their above average shooting percentage (7.6% 12th).
The Red Wings offer up a turnstile type of defense with rankings in the top two of both scoring chance categories, 2nd in SCA (641, 23.74/game) and 2nd in HDA (197, 7.29/game). They don’t give up many opportunities with the man advantage, PPOA (78, 2.88/game), but their fair amount of shots against (890, 32.96/game) and bottom third save percentage (.924 20th) are quite enticing.
Detroit gives it up like a JV cheerleader on prom night and expect the Avs to capitalize on all their opportunities. While the Red Wings might find it more difficult to get scoring chances Colorado’s goaltending is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle, so the chances they do get should lead to plenty of scoring.