While the pandemic has changed a lot about our lives, the most notable changes for sports fans is the lack of fans. The NHL is no different.
Starting with the playoff bubble the NHL created back in the Summer in Edmonton and Toronto, most of the league’s teams have seen very few fans attend.
There have been no fans for any of the games in the new for this year Canadian division. So the big question becomes with the lack of fans, do home teams in the NHL win less than previous seasons? The answer appears to be yes.
According to a study by OnlineGambling.ca, home win rates for NHL teams in 1,000 fan-less games have dropped by 10% compared to win rates of home games with fans during the 2013-2019 seasons.
Some of the teams that have seen the most significant increase in home winning percentage during the age of ghost arenas include the Carolina Hurricanes (44%), New York Islanders (38%), and the Colorado Avalanche (28%).
In contrast, some other teams like the Buffalo Sabres (-65%) and the St Louis Blues (-64%) have seen a massive drop in their home winning percentages.
With these changes, away teams have seen a rise in their wins at a 7% increase over this time. Leading the way are the Florida Panthers (62%), Philadelphia Flyers (60%) and Toronto Maple Leafs (57%).
It is interesting to note that the top five teams who have neighed in an increase in home wins are also teams that all made the playoffs this season.
The playoffs have long been seen as a place where home ice matters the most. Will that trend continue for this bizarre season? Time will tell if these numbers hold up as the NHL Playoffs begin tonight.