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 @ Nashville Predators
Totals: Highest 6 DK 5.5 FD 6
On game number six of an eight game road trip the Winnipeg Jets (17-12-6) have won three of their last five as they enter tonight’s contest against the Nashville Predators (24-14-3). The Jets have seen 7+ goals in three of their last five contests and they’ve scored 3+ goals in four of their last five.
Winnipeg creates offensive chances at one of the better rates in the league, ranking 17th in SCF (803, 22.94/game) and 17th in HDF (241, 6.88/game). They’re finding ways to put themselves on the man advantage as well, PPO (110, 3.14/game). The Jets are getting excellent shot volume (1184, 33.82/game) and their below average shooting percentage (7.2% 21st) is primed for positive regression.
Their save percentage (.931 6th) ranks among the league’s best but that’s the only true strength of this Jets defense. Ranking 23rd in SCA (755, 21.57/game) and 14th in HDA (242, 6.91/game) with an elevated amount of shots against (1126, 32.17/game) shows how vulnerable this defense it. A few more PPOA (99, 2.82/game) would make this matchup even better.
In the middle of a three game home stand the Predators look to snap a four game losing streak tonight. Nashville’s games have featured 6 or more goals in five of their last seven.
The Predators offensive numbers all fall somewhere between above average and good, ranking 10th in SCF (860, 20.97/game) and 16th in HDF (242, 5.9/game). A middling shot volume (1211, 29.53/game) and an above average shooting efficiency (7.9% 12th) reinforce they’re unspectacular but effective team offense. Nashville does find themselves receiving a fair amount of PPO (123, 3/game).
Averaging nearly three and half PPOA (138, 3.36/game) the Preds give their opponents plenty of chances up a man. At even strength though their defense is performing very well, ranking 13th in SCA (838, 20.43/game) and 16th in HDA (222, 5.41/game). Their save percentage (.926 13th) offers their defensive corps decent support and the shots against (1273, 31.04/game) they’re facing is only slightly heightened.
While neither of these teams elicited excitement when discussing scoring offense, the numbers show how effective they’ve been all year and this game has plenty of potential tonight.
Montreal Canadiens @ Vegas Golden Knights
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6 FD 6.5
The Montreal Canadiens (8-25-5) snapped a six game losing streak with their victory over the Stars on Tuesday, that was their first victory on their current road trip that continues tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights (23-15-2). Five of the Canadiens last seven games have seen 6+ goals.
While their offense has cooled off since their hot play earlier in the year the Canadiens still bring a capable attacking system into tonight’s contest, ranking 20th in SCF (773, 20.34/game) and 15th in HDF (244, 6.42/game). With ordinary shot volume (1102, 29/game) and a good amount of PPO (115, 3.02/game) it’s really their atrocious shooting percentage (6.4% 31st) that is dragging their offense down.
Montreal’s defense is inviting to both opposing teams and fantasy managers, with a mouth watering amount of shots against (1304, 34.31/game) and a save percentage (.919 24th) that does very little to bail out their team defense. The Canadiens are also spending an excessive amount of time on the penalty kill, PPOA (130, 3.42/game), at even strength they rank 7th in SCA (899, 23.65/game) and 5th in HDA (288, 7.57/game).
Vegas is wrapping up an eight game home stand with tonight’s matchup and three of their last four games saw 6 or more goals.
The Knights have proven this year that even while coping with multiple injuries to top stars their offense remains among the league’s best, ranking 4th in SCF (950, 23.75/game) and 2nd in HDF (328, 8.2/game). Despite lacking PPO (102, 2.55/game) Vegas still possesses a delectable shot volume (1359, 33.97/game) and their lethal shooting percentage (8.6% 7th) allows them to capitalize on it.
The flip side to the Knights impressive offense is that their free wheeling style of play tends to lead to just as many scoring opportunities for their opponents, ranking 8th in SCA (888, 22.2/game) and 2nd in HDA (299, 7.47/game). They tend to give opposing teams slightly more power play chances than they receive themselves, PPOA (108, 2.7/game). While they contend with only a middling amount of shots against (1194, 29.85/game), their disappointing save percentage (.915 27th) does allow plenty of those shots to hit the back of the net.
Vegas and Montreal have been playing in high scoring games all year and tonight should be no different, even middle and bottom six forwards are likely to get in on the action in this one.