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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.

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Carolina Hurricanes
Totals: Highest 6.5 DK 6.5 FD 6.5

The Pittsburgh Penguins (34-14-8) are coming off a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night and are riding a four game winning streak as the stay on the road to take on the Carolina Hurricanes (37-12-5). Seven of Pittsburgh’s last eight games have featured 5 or more goals.

The Penguins are generating offensive chances at one of the best rates in the league, ranking 6th in SCF (1274, 22.75/game) and 8th in HDF (367, 6.55/game). While they’re getting a fair amount of PPO (171, 3.05/game) their shooting percentage (7.1% 23rd) is holding them back a bit, however their savory shot volume (1955, 34.91/game) more than makes up for it.

Pittsburgh has been playing well defensively, checking in at 22nd in SCA (1115, 19.91/game) and 20th in HDA (347, 6.19/game). Their save percentage (.930 4th) is excellent and they’re staying disciplined and avoiding the penalty box, PPOA (135, 2.41/game). They do allow a good amount of shots against (1687, 30.12/game) though.

After dropping two in a row on the road, the Hurricanes return home where they’ve won eight of their last nine. Four of their last seven games saw 7+ goals.

Carolina should be able to go punch for punch with the Pens offensively, ranking 11th in SCF (1208, 22.37/game) and 4th in HDF (406, 7.51/game) and their pristine shooting efficiency (8.7% 6th) allows them to make the most of those opportunities. The amount of PPO (160, 2.96/game) isn’t overly impressive but their massive shot volume (1795, 33.24/game) is.

The Hurricanes defense has been great at limiting their opponents opportunities, ranking 24th in SCA (1105, 20.46/game) and 14th in HDA (359, 6.64/game). Their goalies have been putting up a phenomenal save percentage (.929 5th) and they’re limiting their opponents shot volume (1570, 29.07/game), however they find themselves down a man quite often, PPOA (194, 3.59/game).

Both of these teams bring with them fantastic offenses and above average to good defenses. There’s a chance that both defenses manage to hold up against the firepower of these offenses but it seems unlikely.

Los Angeles Kings @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Totals: Highest 6 DK 6 FD 6

Coming off a 4-3 win over the Devils, the Columbus Blue Jackets (28-25-1) are hosting the Los Angeles Kings (29-19-7) in game three of their five game homestand. Columbus has seen 7+ goals in six of their last eight games.

The Blue Jackets offense is just middle of the road, ranking 18th in SCF (1125, 20.83/game) and 26th in HDF (317, 5.87/game) but they’re excellent shooting percentage (8.9% 4th) allows them to make the most of their limited chances. PPO (134, 2.48/game) aren’t coming very frequently for them and their shot volume (1607, 29.75/game) is middling.

Defensively Columbus has all the elements we look to attack in a fantasy environment, they rank 3rd in SCA (1271, 23.53/game) and 17th in HDA (350, 6.48/game). Their save percentage (.912 30th) is in the cellar and they have to contend with an avalanche of shots against (1930, 35.74/game) despite dealing with just an fair amount of PPOA (157, 2.9/game).

Los Angeles heads to Ohio on a two game losing streak and desperate to stay in the Pacific Division race. The Kings have seen 7 or more goals in three straight contests.

LA’s offense is among the league’s elite when it comes to generating chances, they rank 3rd in SCF (1338, 24.32/game) and 3rd in HDF (410, 7.45/game). They bring with them a mouth watering shot volume (1946, 35.38/game) and are finding ways to get themselves on the man advantage, PPO (173, 3.14/game). Only their underwhelming shooting percentage (6.8% 28th) is holding them back.

While not as exciting as their top three rankings in the offensive categories the Kings defensive rankings are still conducive to a healthy game environment, checking in at 12th in SCA (1208, 21.96/game) and 14th in HDA (359, 6.52/game). But their save percentage (.925 13th) is middle of the pack, they don’t find themselves on the penalty kill too much, PPOA (154, 2.8/game), and they do a solid job of limiting their shots against (1576, 28.65/game).

The Kings play a style that creates plays for themselves and exposes them to chances from their opponents, as long as the Blue Jackets can take advantage of them this game could turn into a shootout.
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