Home Ice Advantage

Written by Darryl Dobbsfrom www.dobberhockey.com



There is always much ado about home ice advantage when entering a playoff series, be it for hockey, baseball, basketball, or football. Indications are quite clear that there is, indeed, an advantage when playing at home, however slim. By extension, this theory holds true for fantasy hockey players – if a team wins more, it needs to score more than the opposition, therefore the players on the home team will put up more points generally speaking. That is IF this theory holds true. After Anaheim beat the Colorado Avalanche today, the home team is 24 and 24 so far in the 2006 playoffs.


Looking at the numbers, there have been some clear road warriors as we begin the second round. Buffalo’s Mike Grier and Derek Roy have eight points each on the road. They have zero at home. Montreal’s Alex Kovalev had six road points before his team was eliminated. He had just one point while playing on home ice. Edmonton rearguard Chris Pronger had six road points and one home point. Ditto for Colorado’s Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk, and Andrew Brunette. Does where a player plays actually make a difference in terms of their production? Not in the playoffs. Certainly not on the road. After all, if those three Avs were so strong on the road, why were they shut out twice in Anaheim? I would prefer, if given the choice, that my players be on home ice.




J.P. Dumont, despite his Buffalo team scoring 15 goals in their last two games on the road, was not a big part of those scoresheets. He has just one point away from Buffalo’s HSBC Arena, but six points in it. Doug Weight is another good one at home, no matter which home it is – St. Louis or Carolina. He has four points in these playoffs at home versus one on the road. This pattern continued from his regular season, as he had 38 (home) and 19 (road). For the most part, the so-called home advantage is slight, as nine of the top ten playoff scorers have similar road/home numbers. Eric Staal is the exception, as eight of his 11 points are at home…

Meanwhile…




Derek Roy of the Buffalo Sabres is showing flashes of becoming a star. It’s not often that a player picks up three points in a single game. Many players go their entire career without accomplishing the feat. This season and playoffs, Roy has had games of five points, four points, and a pair with three points. Package that talent with consistency and the sky is the limit. He is a breakout candidate for next season…




Daniel Briere missed Buffalo practice Sunday with an ‘upper body injury’. He did not play a big role in Buffalo’s win over Ottawa, although he did assist on the tying goal. Expect the same kind of performance next game – if he gets in, it will be to play minimal minutes. It says here he’ll play…


Francois Beauchemin, acquired by the Ducks in the Sergei Fedorov trade, has seven points in nine games. That makes him more productive than Scott Niedermayer so far…


More fantasy hockey tips from Dobber at www.dobberhockey.com


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