In the NHL, home-ice advantage is an important factor when you’re handicapping the NHL betting lines. We’ve crunched the numbers from last season and have compiled a list of the three best home and away teams, and examined what made them successful.
Best Home Teams
Tampa Bay Lightning
Home Record: 32-8-1
Tampa Bay led the NHL in goal scoring and while their offense was fairly steady both at home (3.39 goals per game) and on the road (2.93), the main difference was the goaltending of Ben Bishop. Bishop finished the season with a sparkling 27-7 home record with a 2.15 GAA and a .925 save percentage. However, on the road, he was just 13-11 with a 2.53 GAA and a .904 save percentage. That was the main difference for this team in their splits.
Home Record: 28-9-4
The Predators were the best home team in the NHL throughout most of the regular season but they faded down the stretch. It’s hard to believe that they finished with the second-best home record when you consider that they actually lost nine of their last 11 at home. That means that to start the season, they had won 26 of their first 30 at home.
Home Record: 26-9-6
The Canadiens were a surprise team on this list as they were the league’s third-best home team. The logic was quite simple as they were an excellent defensive team at the Bell Centre and that led to a sizable goal differential in their home games. In away games, the Habs actually had a negative differential at -0.05, scoring just 2.27 per game and allowing 2.32. However, at home, they allowed just 2.17 and scored 2.95, which is why they make this list.
Best Away Teams
New York Rangers
Away Record: 28-11-2
The Rangers leading the NHL in road wins shouldn’t be a surprise. This was actually the third time in the last five years that they’ve had 24 or more road wins and the second time in that span that they’ve finished with the league’s best road record.
Away Record: 25-12-24
Although the Ducks are mostly known as a team that’s tough to beat on the Duck Pond, the truth is that they’ve been the best road team in the NHL over the last few seasons. The Ducks have now finished third or better in terms of road record over the last three seasons. Head coach Bruce Bourdreau has got them focused in away games and there’s great value on the NHL odds with them in these spots.
St. Louis Blues
Away Record: 24-12-5
The Blues finished with the league’s third-best road record but and the math was quite simple. They actually had a +0.34 goal differential on the road, which might seem like a small margin but it was actually the third-best number in the NHL behind the Rangers (0.80) and the Chicago Blackhawks (0.32). Only six teams in the NHL finished with a position road goal differential.