Loading...

Hockey is one of the sports with the most home team advantages in terms of rules. There are:

  • Last substitution following stoppages; ability to choose lines and create mismatches with the opponents, or play a defensive line as a counter to an offensive line.
  • Second stick placement on faceoffs
  • Choice of shooting first or second in the event of a shootout

There are of course other "soft" factors that are common to many other sports; being better rested without travel, the home crowd effect (both on the players and potentially on the referees to be less prone to make unfavorable calls against the home team), being familiar with the rink and the ice conditions/quality, etc.

So, given the official advantages, we might expect them to outweigh the "soft" factors, and for most teams to have a fairly consistent home advantage. I thought it'd be interested to compare amongst teams, using the above chart. For the comparison, I calculate the difference in average goals scored in all home games versus away games per team per season. It might be more relevant to consider the goal differentials (game scores) or game outcomes, rather than just the target team's goals without regard for the opponents. To be continued..