The Los Angeles Kings have already broken the record for consecutive road playoff wins with 11 (nine this year and two in 2011). While Darryl Sutter’s bunch leads the pack, one might end up remembering the 2012 playoffs as the year of the road team.
1. Randomness – Sure, 81 games is a better sample size than we usually get, but in context it’s still the wackiness of the postseason.
2. Parity – As the salary cap evens things out more and more, there aren’t as many “juggernaut” teams. When everything is that close, then you can covert that “Any Given Sunday” cliche to any given playoff game – no matter what color sweater you’re wearing.
3. Limited actual advantages – Aside from mocking chants and undeniably electric atmospheres, home ice provides two main advantages: the last change and the faceoff edge. In the grand scheme of things, that can only mean so much.
Now, if this interesting wrinkle repeats itself in a serious way like this for a few years, we can all laugh off home ice. In the mean time, I’m going to look at it as a moderate advantage, but feel free to debate just how much it matters – if at all.
Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."