Our resident NHL consultant examines home and away splits for both teams participating in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals. Join us in reading this enlightening article and find out what he’s discovered and concluded in that regard.
2015 Stanley Cup Finals: Chicago versus Tampa Bay
The 2015 Stanley Cup Finals are set to begin on Wednesday when Tampa Bay hosts Chicago in Game 1. In this article I’ll examine the home and away splits of both teams, then conclude with my opinions on whether it will be a pertinent factor when placing your NHL picks at this time of year.
Blackhawks Home and Away Splits
The Chicago Blackhawks will be on the road for the first two games of this series, so let’s start by taking an in depth look at how they’ve fared in that role. Chicago has gone 29-21 on the road during the playoffs and regular season combined. By NHL standards, they qualify as a very good road team considering their .580 winning percentage. During these 2015 NHL Playoffs, Chicago is a solid 5-4 during away games. They’ve also gone 6-1-2 over the total during those nine games. That’s in stark contrast to the regular season when Chicago went 23-11-7 under the total as a visitor. The Hawks power play was much better on the road than at home, converting on a stellar 21.2% of their man advantage opportunities when playing on enemy ice.
Now let’s look at how the Western Conference champions have done at the United Center in Chicago. The Blackhawks have gone 31-18 on home ice this season, and that includes 7-1 during the playoffs. In those eight home playoff tilts, they’ve gone 5-2-1 over the total.
Lightning Home and Away Splits
Tampa Bay was the best team at home in the NHL during the 2014-2015 regular season campaign. They were an outstanding 32-9 in that role. However, it’s been a much different story in the playoffs. The Lightning is just 5-5 on home ice this postseason. They’ve also gone 7-4 over the total at home during the playoffs.
After going an unimpressive 19-23 in away games during the regular season, Tampa Bay has gone a stellar 6-3 on the road in the playoffs. The Lightning is also 5-3-1 under the total on the road during this 2015 postseason.
Unlike the NFL and NBA playoffs, I’ve been a firm believer throughout my career that playing at home provides lesser an advantage for the NHL postseason. Especially as we progress deeper into the NHL Playoffs. Case in point are the two teams participating in these 2015 Stanley Cup Finals, they’ve combined to go a stellar 11-7 on the road this postseason. Tampa Bay lost just 9 times in 41 regular season home games, and has lost five times in ten tries during the playoffs. On the other hand, the more experienced Blackhawks have valued their home ice opportunities during the post season, evidenced by a stellar 7-1 record. At the end of the day, home ice does provide somewhat of an advantage in the NHL Playoffs, but the results over the past decade indicate that edge is nowhere near what is in the NBA or NFL postseasons.