As we start planning our NHL Playoffs Futures Picks, it’s important to evaluate the home and away splits of the teams in contention. Home-ice advantage is critical & these four home-away splits are worth keeping in mind.
Tampa Bay Lightning Away Record
If you’re thinking about placing NHL picks on the Tampa Bay Lightning futures, be careful. This team will have to play differently in away games in the playoffs than they have in the regular season or they aren’t going to make a long journey. While the Lightning have 30 homes wins so far – more than any other team in the NHL – their 17-16-7 road record ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference.
The biggest issue is goaltending as they are one of the best defensive teams when they’re at home, allowing just 2.13 goals per game, which ranks them fourth-best. However, on the road, they give up 2.97, which is the eight-worst number. Goaltender Ben Bishop has solid numbers at home (2.13 GAA, .925 save percentage) but those numbers drop-off on the road (2.67 GAA and .897 save percentage).
Unless those numbers improve vastly in the playoffs, don’t expect the Lightning to go far.
New York Rangers Away Record
The Rangers road record is worth mentioning here because they have the best one in the NHL. We’ve seen in previous playoffs that they have no problem being a road warrior and we’ll probably see it again from them this season.
The Rangers have allowed the third-fewest goals in the NHL this season while scoring the fourth-most. That type of balance along with a stellar away record could make them the team to beat in the the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Anaheim Ducks Away Record
The Ducks are typically known as a team that’s usually favored by NHL odds in Anaheim, as they are really hard to beat on the Duck Pond but one that’s far more vulnerable on the road. While that’s still true to an extent, it’s interesting to note that the Ducks actually have the best road record in the Western Conference right now at 24-12-4. The reason for it is because the Ducks have actually scored better on the road (2.85 goals per game) than at home (2.82). However, that consistency is what’s allowed them to perform well no matter where they’ve been.
With this type of balance, this team could be built for another long run in the playoffs.