Monday, November 7, 2011

BREAKING: Winning at Home is Pretty Important

Pictured: (Apparently) The Friendliest Place on Earth

Last night's 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames dropped the Avs to 1-5-0 at the Pepsi Center.

That's two points out of a possible twelve, folks.

Luckily, a 6-1-1 road record has kept the Avalanche season afloat, and if they could figure out how to score goals at home, we might just see them in the playoffs this year.

Indeed, in the six home games, the Avs have been outscored 17-7. On the road, the Avs are outscoring opponents at a 33-25 clip.

I'm not going to speculate as to what's going on. There are plenty of theories, mostly revolving around "fan enthusiasm" and "coaching." I don't buy into the former, but the latter may have merit at this point. Still, I don't think it's Joe Sacco's time to go.

Let's save that one for another post.

Instead, let's take a look at some interesting numbers regarding the playoffs, the Stanley Cup, and home rink success.

--Out of the sixteen current playoff teams, just one (Buffalo) has a losing record at home (3-4-0)

--The six division leaders have a combined home record of 32-5-5. That's good enough for 67 points out of a possible 77.

--Of the sixteen playoff teams, only five (LA, Florida, San Jose, Toronto, and Ottawa) are being outscored on home ice. But the combined margin is just twelve goals.

--Every single playoff team in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2004 had a winning record at home. The streak is broken in 2003 when the eighth-seeded Islanders were 18-18-5 at the Colosseum.

--The last five Stanley Cup champions have combined for a 131-49-25 record on friendly soil. That's a 76% point percentage. Again, the Avs are currently on pace for about a 15% point percentage.

In other words, it's pretty simple.

Win at home, or get rid of any shred of hope for success.

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