As we inch closer to the playoffs, full season stats begin to come into focus. Sometimes it’s too simple to just look at the numbers alone, but observations can certainly be made from 82 (or even about 70) games of hockey.
One of the things that I focus on in stretch run situations is how many home and road contests a team has left. Simply put, many people overlook the fact that there still is an advantage to playing at home. That doesn’t change the fact that some teams are oddballs, though. That can work in two (or more) ways: some teams are wildly dependent on home cooking while some are inexplicably better sleeping in unfamiliar beds.
On some level, these stats can tell the story of a team’s season without needing thousands of words to do so. Let’s take a look at some of the home/road records that really stand out.
The Elite home teams
New Jersey: 25-10-1
Considering all of Phoenix’s headaches, it’s refreshing to see them with one of the league’s best winning percentages at home.
The absolute worst road team
Is also the absolute worst team in the NHL. The Edmonton Oilers are the only team in the league that failed to reached the 10-win mark on the road so far. They are a pitiful 8-24-3 away from Edmonton this season.
Road record will give them an early vacation
Take a look at the home vs. road records of these 3 West teams expected to miss the playoffs.
Dallas: 20-10-7 at home; 12-17-7 on the road (8 less wins)
Anaheim: 23-11-3 at home; 11-20-5 on the road (12 less wins)
Minnesota: 24-10-3 at home; 11-22-3 on the road (13 less wins)
More interesting stats after the jump.
They better get home iceThe Ottawa Senators are in the playoff hunt despite a paltry 15-20-1 road record while the Flyers are a weak 16-18-3 and the Red Wings are 16-13-8.No big deal either wayThe Canadiens (18 wins), Rangers (16), Penguins (21), Kings (21), Sharks (22), Panthers (15) and Predators (21) have the same amount of wins (though not points earned) in road and home games. This makes them equally dangerous (or mediocre) wherever they go, it seems.Broken home?Finally, these teams are especially weird because their road records are better than their records at home. The Boston Bruins have won three more games and lost one less on the road. Most odd of all is the St. Louis Blues, though. They’ve won 22 games on the road and only 12 games at home so far this year. How do you explain that?
Marner’s brilliant passing powers uplifting night for Leafs
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not: