When building a Daily Fantasy Hockey lineup, it’s important to consider the special teams matchups. When a team or line goes off offensively, more often than not it’s because of the power-play. Below I’ve gone over the special teams matchups for tonight’s two-game slate to help you identify the best power-plays to target. All totals are per 60 minutes of 5v4 ice-time. Each team’s league-wide rank in a given category is noted in brackets. Good luck!
Colorado Avalanche @ Detroit Red Wings [7:30 PM EST]
|Avalanche PP||Red Wings PK|
|PP%/PK%||18.6% (20th)||74.5% (30th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.45 (3rd)||3.16 (24th)|
|SH%/SV%||13.14% (18th)||.846 SV% (25th)|
|Shots For/Against||49.77 (t-23rd)||60.45 (30th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||48.81 (19th)||52.68 (27th)|
|xGoals For/Against||6.26 (21st)||7.83 (30th)|
|Red Wings PP||Avalanche PK|
|PP%/PK%||14.9% (30th)||80.6% (16th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.00 (15th)||2.98 (15th)|
|SH%/SV%||12.45% (21st)||.870 SV% (11th)|
|Shots For/Against||40.97 (31st)||54.26 (21st)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||38.76 (29th)||52.22 (25th)|
|xGoals For/Against||5.23 (31st)||6.80 (24th)|
Injuries have made it hard for Colorado’s power-play to find its groove this season, and it’s obviously a little surprising to see them ranked as low as they are given all the offensive weapons at their disposal. They’ve struggled to generates shots and scoring chances with the man advantage this season, but they do draw the third-most penalties in the league. That kind of volume can mask their inefficiencies, especially against a team like Detroit.
The Red Wings are one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the league, and it doesn’t help that they have a hard time staying out of the box. Their undisciplined play makes it almost a forgone conclusion that Colorado’s power-play will score tonight. Detroit’s 30th-ranked PK% is well-deserved when you consider their inability to limit shots and scoring chances. Add in some sub-par goaltending and it’s easy to see why they’ve struggled as much as they have. Colorado should easily win the special teams matchup in this one.
Edmonton Oilers @ Nashville Predators [8:00 PM EST]
|Oilers PP||Predators PK|
|PP%/PK%||29.3% (1st)||74.6% (29th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||2.94 (18th)||3.08 (19th)|
|SH%/SV%||20.07% (1st)||.826 SV% (31st)|
|Shots For/Against||52.45 (16th)||54.29 (22nd)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||58.84 (1st)||47.48 (14th)|
|xGoals For/Against||7.37 (5th)||6.68 (20th)|
|Predators PP||Oilers PK|
|PP%/PK%||16.3% (26th)||84.2% (2nd)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.27 (5th)||2.83 (10th)|
|SH%/SV%||10.27% (29th)||.904 SV% (2nd)|
|Shots For/Against||56.33 (5th)||54.16 (20th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||50.88 (12th)||48.08 (15th)|
|xGoals For/Against||6.84 (11th)||6.64 (19th)|
At first glance, this looks like an extremely lopsided special teams matchup, and the underlying numbers seem to back that up. Edmonton’s sky-high 29.3% conversion rate on the power-play is definitely inflated by a 20.07 SH%, but they still generate more scoring chances than any other power-play in the league. The disparity between their shots and scoring chances produced at least somewhat explains their gargantuan SH%. There is an obvious philosophy here to pass on lower-quality shots in hopes of creating more high-danger chances. It’s what’s helped them remain near the top of the league in PP% all season long, and it’s a trend that I’d expect to continue tonight.
Nashville kills penalties at an aggressive pace and are tremendous at limiting shots against as a result. That aggressive mentality also means they’re susceptible to surrendering higher-quality chances to patient teams like the Oilers. Edmonton’s elite passing should open up plenty of quality chances for their sharp-shooters, which should be particularly concerning for Nashville. The Predators rank dead-last in the NHL with an .826 short-handed SV%.
The Oilers should easily win the flip-side of this special teams matchup, too. Their PK% is slightly inflated by a .904 short-handed SV%, but Nashville isn’t exactly the type of team you would expect to buck that trend. With the third-worst power-play SH% in the NHL, don’t be surprised if Edmonton blanks the Predators’ power-play tonight.