The phenomenon continues this post season in round one of the NHL playoffs where road teams will come away with a winning record for the third straight year. As of this writing, they’ve outscored the home team 119 to 107. Yet in the regular season, the home team’s advantage was huge and they outscored the visitors 3,472 to 3,073.
What happens in playoff time is that road teams get totally immersed in the minute processes of playing the game and winning individual battles while the home teams are taking a results oriented approach (we’re at home therefore we must play well and win.) The visitors are concerned about gaining the upper hand on individual shifts, face-offs, battles along the boards; essentially breaking the game down into tiny events and hoping to win a small majority of them. In this approach, they let results take care of themselves. Also when you meet an opponent for five or six straight games you become familiar with their tendencies which you can plan for and neutralize the effect a home ice crowd has.
Keeping a close eye on the Boston vs. Washington series where the road team has won four out of six. Hoping for five out of seven at the Garden on Wednesday night. LETS GO CAPS!