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.
Winnipeg Jets @ Washington Capitals
Totals: Highest 6 DK 6 FD 6
The Winnipeg Jets (17-12-5) have only played five games in the last four weeks thanks to several game postponements as they head east to take on the Washington Capitals (21-9-9). Navigating through all the games that have been rescheduled and reviewing the games that Winnipeg has actually played shows that their recent contests have featured plenty of scoring, with nine of their last twelve games seeing 6 or more goals.
The Jets rank 17th in SCF (776, 22.82/game) and 19th in HDF (235, 6.91/game) despite being amongst teams with the fewest games played on the year. They’re drawing plenty of penalties creating PPO (106, 3.11/game) and with healthy shot volume (1151, 33.85/game) and a shooting percentage (7.3% 19th) due for positive regression this offense is primed to go off.
Winnipeg’s defense does well slowing down average and worst offenses, limiting the number of PPOA (97, 2.85/game) they contend with and getting excellent goaltending, save percentage (.932 5th). They are seeing a fair amount of SCA per game, 24th (726, 21.35/game) and an elevated amount of HDA 19th (235, 6.91/game). Their opponents are also forcing them to deal with a heightened amount of shots against (1095, 32.2/game).
The Capitals have been alternating wins and losses over their last six games but they’ve been seeing a lot of offense over more games than that, with 5 or more combined goals in eighteen in their last twenty-one games.
Maintaining the standard they’ve set over the better part of the last two decades Washington’s offense is among the best in the league, with a great shooting percentage (8.5% 8th) paired with above average shot volume (1245, 31.92/game). While they’re getting a fair amount of PPO (114, 2.92/game) at five on five they’re generating an elite level of SCF 6th (887, 22.74/game) and HDF 9th (261, 6.69/game).
On the defensive side of things the Capitals are simply average, ranking 16th in SCA (809, 20.74/game) and 16th in HDA (247, 6.33/game). Those numbers align with the rest of their middle of the road defensive numbers, PPOA (101, 2.58/game), shots against (1098, 28.15/game) and a slightly above average save percentage (.927 11th).
Both of these offenses possess plenty of high end talent and skill to take advantage of the middling defenses in this game. If the Caps can carry the play and push the Jets to their offensive limits expect fireworks in this one.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Los Angeles Kings
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 6
After a quick trip to San Jose the Los Angeles Kings (20-14-5) return home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning (26-9-5) for tonight’s matchup. In three of LA’s last seven home games both teams combined to score 8+ goals and there was a fourth game that featured 6 goals.
The strength of this Kings team is their offense this year, ranking 3rd in both SCF (955, 24.48/game) and HDF (292, 7.48/game). In addition to those scoring chance numbers their delectable shot volume (1374, 35.23/game) and PPO (123, 3.15/game) show all the potential this offense has, if they can just improve on their dismal shooting percentage (6.7% 27th) they can reach their ceiling.
Just as enticing as their offense LA’s defense gives anyone who shows up to the rink an abundance of opportunities to score, ranking 5th in SCA (891, 22.84/game) and 8th in HDA (269, 6.89/game). But a lack of PPOA (109, 2.79/game) and depressed amount of shots against (1134, 2907) does limit their opponents offensive upside. The Kings fabulous save percentage (.933 4th) also makes things difficult for opposing teams.
Winners of three in a row and five of their last six, the Lightning enter tonight’s contest as hot as any team in the league. Those same games have also featured 5+ goals in five of six.
With the talent on this team it’s not surprising that their offense ranks inside the top ten of both scoring chance categories, 8th in SCF (883, 22.07/game) and 8th in HDF (266, 6.65/game). With an elite level shooting percentage (8.6% 7th) they’re able to make the most of their middling shot volume (1197, 29.92/game). The Lightning do find ways to give themselves a good amount of PPO (124, 3.1/game).
Tampa Bay’s defense falls somewhere between good and below average. With a great save percentage (.928 9th) to rely on and a defense corps that keeps their opponents under 30 shots (1163, 29.07/game) a game, opposing offenses need to earn their chances. They rank 13th in SCA (821, 20.52/game) and 22nd in HDA (227, 5.67/game). They don’t over work their penalty kill either, with an ordinary amount of PPOA (117, 2.92/game).
The Kings play a style of game that is welcoming to fantasy managers and the Lightning have the type of offense that will take advantage of any chances LA gives them. As long as the Kings hold up of their end of the bargain this game might be the highest scoring on tonight’s slate.