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Vulgar Statistics: Home Performances


Every year roughly two or three times, I browse over the standings for every major sports league and check teams’ records at home and on the road.  Even if I hate a team, I can at least respect them if they perform better at home for the fans that pay (big) money to watch them play.  It’s exciting to see an underdog with a mediocre record that keeps themselves in the mix because they fiercely defend their home turf (or ice).  This entry will take a look at the home performances of each team in the NHL.

This is long and complicated, so I will try to simplify it as much as possible.  Like I do when I compile power rankings, I developed a ratings system (out of 10) based on several categories.  For this study those categories will be:

  • Home Record – The most straightforward, do they win for their fans?
  • Home Goals – Some of this study will measure excitement, giving the home fans something to watch, like goals.
  • Home Goals Allowed – Stopping goals can be just as exciting as scoring them.
  • Home Short Handed Goals – It’s awesome to stick it to the other team on their power play.
  • Home Hits – You always want to send your opponents on their way a little bruised and bloody.
  • Home Overtime Winning Percentage – Winning an OT game is like winning $50 bucks on a scratch off ticket.  Losing an OT game is like getting punched in the stomach…then watching your assailant steal your scratch off ticket and win $50.

There will also be various modifiers that will add or subtract from the final rating (which is an average of the ratings in the above categories).

  • Losing Record at Home – You should get penalized for just plain sucking.
  • More Road Wins – You should also get penalized for winning more for the other team’s fans.
  • More Road Goals
  • Fewer Road Goals Allowed
  • Better Road Power Play
  • More Road Short Handed Goals
  • Playoff Finish – The only positive modifier.  What can I say, I was harsh.

Let’s get to the charts, eh?  I’m going to use Google Documents again and feature write-ups on each chart below said chart so don’t forget to scroll down. I will also include my raw data at the beginning. Warning: it isn’t pretty.

Final Thoughts:

The most intriguing thing to me was the Thrashers coming in dead last in the treatment of their fans.  Makes you feel a little bad that the city of Atlanta never really had a team that was any fun to watch by any definition of the word.  Even their superstars have been unlikable jerks in Heatley, Hossa, and Kovalchuk.  Overall, it’s not surprising to see that Washington and Pittsburgh rank number one and number two respectively.  They have the best players and their management teams have done a good job to make their home arenas great places to be for their fans, which in turn makes playing at home very welcoming to the players and raises their game.  Hopefully Terry Pegula and Ted Black work their magic because 21st place is far to low for a great hockey city like Buffalo.

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