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"Daily Fantasy Sports Hockey Strategist"
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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.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Vegas Golden Knights

Totals: Highest 6 DK 6 FD 6

Having only played three games in the last four weeks due to the winter break and game postponements the Toronto Maple Leafs (22-8-3) head west for a matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights (23-14-1). All three of those Maple Leafs games featured 6+ goals.

Living up to their offensive talent and reputation Toronto finds themselves near the top of both major scoring chance categories, ranking 3rd in SCF (881, 26.69/game) and 4th in HDF (253, 7.66/game). While a few more PPO (94, 2.84/game) would be nice, the Leafs massive shot volume (1125, 34.09/game) more than compensates for the lack of PPO and a middling shooting percentage (7.6% 15th).

Led by an elite level save percentage (.934 3rd) Toronto’s defense is playing better than they get credit for. They’re keeping teams off the man advantage for the most part, PPOA (92, 2.78/game), and at even strength they’re limiting opportunities, ranking 18th in SCA (735, 22.27/game) and 4th in HDA (208, 6.3/game). The heightened amount of shots against (1044, 31.63/game) they face does offer some hope for their opponents.

One of the few teams that hardly had their scheduled affected by game cancellations, the Knights have played six games in the last two weeks going 3-2-1, and four of those six games reached 5 or more goals.

Even though their numbers are slightly inflated because they currently lead the league in games played but even factoring that in Vegas still possesses one of the best offenses in the league. They rank 2nd in SCF (906, 23.84/game) and 1st in HDF (314, 8.26/game). Their excellent shot volume (1299, 34.18/game) and lethal shooting percentage (8.7% 4th) reiterate just how dangerous this offense is. Only a lack of PPO (95, 2.5/game) would be considered a flaw.

While their wide open style of play creates plenty of chances for themselves it also allows their opponents to generate offensive pressure of their own. Despite facing just a middle of the road amount of shots against (1139, 29.97/game) the Knights rank top three in both defensive scoring chance categories, 3rd in SCA (848, 22.31/game) and 1st in HDA (283, 7.44/game). A bottom third save percentage (.917 25th) barely offers any kind saving grace for their overwhelmed defense and they’re facing more PPOA (103, 2.71) than they’re creating for themselves.

This game is screaming high scoring affair and the only potential pitfall is if Toronto’s average defense manages to slow down the Knights’ offense and turns this game into a one sided affair.

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Anaheim Ducks

Totals: Highest 5.5 DK 5.5 FD 5.5

Coming out of the break hot the Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-5) have won three out of four as they head to California for tonight’s contest with the Anaheim Ducks (19-12-7). Pittsburgh’s winning streak reached ten games before they dropped their last matchup to the Stars, three of their last four games featured 8+ goals.

The Penguins offense has been coming alive over the last month with 3+ goals in nine of their last eleven games and seven of those games they scored 4+ goals. That’s reflected in the scoring chance numbers as they rank 7th in SCF (821, 24.14/game) and 11th in HDF (237, 6.97/game). The putting shots (1192, 35.05/game) at their opponents’ net at a heavenly rate and their shooting efficiency (7.7% 13th) is just good enough to give any defense headaches. A decent amount of PPO (97, 2.85/game) ensures they’ll get chances to score in all situations.

Their above average defense slows down most of their opponents and it starts with their ability to limit teams at five on five, ranking 22nd in SCA (686, 20.17/game) and 19th in HDA (211, 6.2/game). They also stay disciplined and don’t put themselves in man down situations very often, PPOA (83, 2.44/game). Keeping their shots against (998, 29.35/game) down and paired with their great save percentage (.931 7th) this team defense can stifle most offensive production.

Finishing up a four game home stand tonight the Ducks have taken two of three games so far and each of their last four games saw 5 or more goals.

Anaheim’s offense has continued their excellent play all season long, they currently rank 11th in SCF (776, 20.42/game) and 6th in HDF (251, 6.6/game). The rest of their offensive numbers fall somewhere between below average and pretty good, PPO (102, 2.68/game), shot volume (1156, 30.42/game) and shooting efficiency (7.1% 23rd). It’s really that disappointing shooting percentage that keeps the Ducks from playing to their offensive ceiling.

The Ducks defense keeps their opponents in the game, giving up plenty of chances and a higher amount of shots against (1239, 32.6/game) than they create for themselves. When it comes to scoring chances their defense is top ten in both categories, ranking 7th in SCA (811, 21.34/game) and 9th in HDA (247, 6.5/game). Anaheim’s save percentage (.927 13th) and amount of PPOA (106, 2.78/game) don’t really stand out in any meaningful way.

The Ducks offense is phenomenal but they’re going to be challenged tonight, if they can overcome Pittsburgh’s defense this game could be the highest score game on the slate.
Filed Under:   NHL   DFS   Draftkings   FanDuel   Jock MKT   Fantasy Hockey  
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