Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Home advantage in the NHL

People talk about home ice advantage, but what does it really mean?
Theoretically, there is travel, the crowd and the lineups (home team
gets last dibs on which players face-off each time play is
stopped). A possible home-disadvantage is that the away team will
spend more time together the day/night before a game and be in a
more controlled environment.

Practically, I looked at the records for home and away teams during the
regular season. Doing the playoffs isn't fair because the better
team will play at least as many home games as the other team. There
are 30 teams, each playing 82 games, so there are 1230 games. Here
are the records:

Home: 590 408 170 62 1412 points 48.0% wins 57.4% points
Away: 470 507 170 83 1193 points 38.2% wins 48.5% points

Definite home advantage. The home team was 26% more likely to get a
win, and got 18% more points (2 available per game) than the away
team. You can also tell that the home team went 83-62-170 in
overtime games.

This was a useless message courtesy of somebody who has too much

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