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.
Detroit Red Wings @ Anaheim Ducks
Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5
The Detroit Red Wings (16-15-3) have dropped two of their three games coming out of the winter break as they head west for a matchup with the Anaheim Ducks (18-11-7) tonight. Two of Detroit’s last three games saw 6 or more goals.
With a shooting percentage (8.2% 9th) among the league’s best, the Red Wings have been able to capitalize on the middling amount of scoring chances they generate. They rank 22nd in SCF (654, 19.23/game) and 20th in HDF (202, 5.94/game). With just a mediocre amount of PPO (93, 2.73/game) and shot volume (980, 28.82/game), Detroit tends to feast on weaker defenses but can’t stand up to teams with above average defensive corps.
Just about every team seems to have their way with the Red Wings, they face truck loads of shots against (1127, 33.14/game) and offer up just a below average save percentage (.920 20th) as resistance. They also rank in the top five of both defensive scoring chance categories, 1st in SCA (813, 23.91/game) and 4th in HDA (252, 7.41/game) but they do limit the amount of PPOA (94, 2.76/game) they have to deal with.
The Ducks snapped a three game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Flyers Tuesday night and now each of their last two games have reached 5+ goals.
Anaheim’s offense is among the league’s best, ranking 12th in SCF (738, 20.5/game) and 4th in HDF (242, 6.72/game). They also bring with them a healthy shot volume (1115, 30.97/game) despite a lack of PPO (97, 2.69/game). They’re underwhelming shooting efficiency (7.1% 22nd) is due for positive regression.
The Ducks’ defense lets even the most ineffective offenses find some degree of success against them, while they don’t have to contend with many PPOA (97, 2.69/game) they are facing plenty of shots against (1163, 32.3/game) and their goaltenders are defending the crease with just an average save percentage (.928 13th). While both their SCA, 7th (773, 21.47/game) and HDA 7th (238, 6.61/game) are among the highest in the league.
Anaheim’s excellent offense should find plenty of success against Detroit’s bottom of the barrel defense, and the Ducks own defensive liabilities should allow the Red Wings to reach their offensive ceiling tonight.
New York Rangers @ Vegas Golden Knights
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6 FD 6
Coming out of the holiday break the Vegas Golden Knights (22-13-1) are 2-2-0 but have lost two in a row. Three of their last four games have feature 5 or more goals.
Despite playing most of the season without Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty the Knights still generate offense at an elite level. Vegas ranks 3rd in SCF (852, 23.66/game) and 1st in HDF (299, 8.3/game). Their phenomenal shooting percentage (8.8% 4th) and shot volume (1233, 34.25/game) further display their offensive dominance, their lack of PPO (92, 2.55/game) is their only flaw.
The Knights’ wide open style of play leads to just as many opportunities for their opponents as it generates for themselves, resulting in them ranking 3rd in SCA (852, 23.66/game) and 1st in HDA (264, 7.33/game). Vegas is disciplined enough to stay out of the box for the most part, PPOA (100, 2.77/game) but their subpar save percentage (.917 25th) only slightly stands up to the amount of shots against (1098, 30.5/game) they face.
The Rangers are riding a three game winning streak into tonight’s contest and three of their last four games have seen 5+ goals including two games totaling 7 goals.
New York has scored 4 goals in three straight games and their offense appears to be finding their game right now despite their mediocre rankings on the year to date. The Rangers rank 23rd in SCF (647, 19.02/game) and 16th in HDF (207, 6.08/game) and create a fair amount of PPO (100, 2.94/game) for themselves. They possess an above average shooting percentage (7.8% 12th) which lets them overcompensate for their low shot volume (967, 28.44/game).
The strength of New York’s defense is their impeccable save percentage (.934 4th) but that’s basically all they have to offer. The Rangers rank 5th in SCA (783, 23.02/game) and 9th in HDA (234, 6.88/game) along with contending with a decent amount of PPOA (99, 2.91/game). They’re also allowing a fair amount of shots against (1084, 31.88/game).
If they Rangers keep up their current offensive play they’ll be able to keep pace with the Knights and this game could end up with the highest goal total on tonight’s slate.