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Who’s Got The Best Home Ice Advantage In The NHL?

In an article we wrote about the value of home ice advantage in the NHL, we concluded that NHL teams combined to win 54.5% of their games from 2011-16, compared to 45.5% on the road.

However, not all home ice advantage in the NHL is equal. Some cities are tougher to play in than others, whether it’s the fans, the travel, the altitude, or whatever other reasons you can think of.

Here are the 5 teams that have enjoyed the best home ice advantage in the NHL since the start of the 2011-12 season, and the 1 poor team that has somehow actually been worse on home ice than on the road.

Best Home Ice Advantage NHL Teams (2011-12 to 16-17)

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (142 home wins, 98 road wins = +44.9% more wins at home)

When you think of hockey hotbeds, central Florida might be the last thing that comes to mind. But the Lightning has by far been the best home ice advantage team in the NHL, collecting nearly 45% more wins when playing in Amalie Arena than when they’ve been on the road.

Prior to last year, Tampa had won 25+ home games every year since 2011 except for the lockout-shortened season of 2012-13 – when they won twice the amount of home games (12) that they did on the road (6).

2. Philadelphia Flyers (132 home wins, 93 road wins = +41.9%)

Philly fans are arguably the most hostile in sports, and that seems to be reflected in the Flyers’ home-away splits. Especially in 2016-17, when the Flyers racked up 25 wins in their own barn but could manage just 14 in enemy territory.

The difference between the Flyers’ performance at home and on the road over the past six years would be even more pronounced if they hadn’t won three less games at home than on the road in 2011-12.

3. Arizona Coyotes (109 home wins, 80 road wins = +36.3%)

The Coyotes’ success at home – compared to their road record, at least – is hard to explain, considering how they average around 13,000 fans per home game.

Perhaps the hot desert air and beautiful golf courses are too much of a distraction for visiting players in the NHL.

4. Los Angeles Kings (138 home wins, 102 road wins = +35.3%)

Who says the sun belt isn’t a hockey market? LA is the third warm-weather city to make the top four of the best home ice advantage NHL teams.

The Kings may not typically play the most entertaining style of hockey, but it does endear them to their fans. Even in 2016-17, when LA missed the playoffs, the team finished above 100% when it came to average capacity attendance. And the Kings respond to the strong crowd support, earning 21 more victories at home than on the road over the last three seasons.

5. Calgary Flames (123 home wins, 93 road wins = +32.3%)

Calgary may have some of the most passionate fans in the NHL, as evidenced by the Red Mile that emerged in their 2004 run to the Stanley Cup final and made news again when the Flames won a playoff series in 2015.

The Flames also benefit from opponents not being used to the thin air of Calgary’s high altitude. However, the Avalanche enjoys a similar advantage in Denver and has won only 17.7% more games at home than on the road in the same time span.

Worst Home Ice Advantage In NHL Since 2011

1. New York Islanders (112 home wins, 113 road wins = -0.9%)

Alright, so we get not having much of a home ice advantage in Brooklyn, considering how Islanders fans really haven’t had much to get excited about since the 4 straight Stanley Cups in the early 1980s.

But actually being worse at home than on the road? That’s tough.

At least the Islanders’ move from Nassau County Coliseum to Barclays Centre has helped a bit. In their first season in their new rink, the Isles won 25 games at home, compared to 20 on the road. And in 2016-17, New York won 22 games at home, three more than it earned as the visitor.

Maybe that car in the corner of the rink is actually intimidating…?

NHL Home Ice Advantage Statistics: 2011-12 to 16-17

This table illustrates each team’s year-by-year win totals at home and on the road (beginning with most recent season), their total home/away wins over the past 6 years, and the percentage difference between their home and away win totals during that span.

Team Year-By-Year H/A Wins Total H/A Wins % Difference At Home
Lightning Logo  23/19, 25/21, 32/18, 25/21, 12/6, 25/13  142/98  +44.9%
Flyers Logo  25/14, 23/18, 23/10. 24/18, 15/8, 22/25  132/93  +41.9%
Coyotes Logo  18/12, 22/13, 11/13, 22/15, 14/7, 22/20  109/80  +36.3%
Kings Logo  23/16, 26/22, 25/15, 23/23, 19/8, 22/18 138/102  +35.3%
Flames Logo  24/21, 21/14, 23/22, 19/16, 13/6, 23/14 123/93  +32.3%
Predators Logo  24/17, 23/18, 28/19, 19/19, 11/5, 26/22  131/100  +31.0%
Hurricanes Logo 23/13,  19/16, 18/12, 18/18, 9/10, 20/13  107/82  +30.5%
Leafs Logo  21/19, 14/15, 22/8, 24/14, 13/13, 18/17 112/86  +30.2%
Oilers Logo 25/22, 19/12, 15/9, 16/13, 9/10, 18/14 102/80  +27.5%
Devils Logo 16/12, 19/19, 19/13, 21/14, 13/6, 24/24 112/88  +27.3%
Ducks Logo  29/17, 25/21, 26/25, 29/25, 16/14, 21/13 146/115  +27.0%
Penguins Logo  31/19, 26/22, 23/20. 28/23, 18/18, 29/22  155/124  +25%
Capitals Logo  32/23, 29/27, 23/22, 21/17, 15/12, 26/16  146/117  +24.8%
Sabres Logo  20/13, 16/19, 14/9, 13/8, 11/10, 21/18 95/77  +23.4%
Wild Logo  27/22, 21/17, 22/24, 26/17, 14/12, 20/15  130/107  +21.5%
Panthers Logo  19/16, 25/22, 21/17, 16/13, 8/7, 21/17 110/92  +19.6%
Blackhawks Logo  26/24, 26/21, 24/24, 27/19, 18/18, 27/18  148/124  +19.4%
Jets Logo  22/18, 18/17, 23/20, 18/19, 13/11, 23/14  117/99  +18.2%
Avalanche Logo  13/9, 17/22, 23/16, 26/26, 12/4, 22/19  113/96  +17.7%
Red Wings Logo  17/16, 22/19, 22/21, 18/21, 13/11, 13/17  123/105  +17.1%
Sharks Logo  26/20, 18/28, 19/21, 29/22, 17/8, 26/17 135/116  +16.4%
Stars Logo 22/12, 28/22, 17/24, 23/17, 11/11, 22/20  123/106  +16.0%
Blues Logo  24/22, 24/25, 27/24, 28/24, 15/14, 30/19  148/128  +15.6%
Canucks Logo  18/12, 15/16, 24/24, 20/16, 15/11, 27/24  119/103  +15.5%
Blue Jackets Logo  28/22, 18/16, 19/23, 22/21, 14/10, 17/12  118/104  +13.5%
Bruins Logo  23/21, 17/25, 24/17, 31/23, 16/12, 24/25 135/123  +9.8%
Senators Logo  22/22, 21/17, 23/20, 18/19, 15/10, 20/21  119/109  +9.2%
Canadiens Logo  24/23, 22/16, 26/24, 23/23, 14/15, 16/15 125/116  +7.8%
Rangers Logo  21/27, 27/19, 25/28, 20/25, 16/10, 27/24 136/133  +2.3%
Islanders Logo  22/19, 25/20, 25/22, 13/21, 10/14, 17/17  112/113  -0.9%