With their loss last night, the New York Islanders dropped to third place in the Metropolitan Division, losing home-ice advantage in round one.
Over the last 19 games, the New York Islanders have played to a 9-9-1 record. It’s safe to say they’ve been fairly mediocre for the past month or so, especially when it comes to offense and the power play.
Due to their lackluster play, the Islanders now find themselves in third place in the Metropolitan Division. That means if the season ended today the Isles would be on the road in Pittsburgh taking on the Penguins.
The Isles have five games to go to change that, and they’re only three points out of first, so there’s still hope. History shows that home ice in the playoffs makes a huge difference. Let’s take a look at the last three years.
If we work our way back, starting with 2018 and look at which teams won each series it would show that teams with home ice were more successful. Teams with home ice were 10-5 in series in the playoffs last year, a win percentage of 66.7 percent.
If you want to turn back the clock to 2017, you’d see that 10 times the team with home-ice advantage won the playoff series. Again, that’s 66.7 percent of series going to the team with home ice.
While 2018 and 2017 were identical, 2016 was a little more even. Of the 15 series, the team with home ice won eight of them. An 8-7 record is still 53.3 percent, and overall in the three-year sample size teams with home ice were 28-17, a win percentage of 62.2 percent.
Obviously, teams who don’t have home ice can win playoff series, see Islanders in 2016, but it certainly is called an advantage for a reason. Interestingly enough, Five Thirty Eight, did an article in 2017 about home field advantage in sports and found some interesting data.
Taking every home game, regular season and playoffs, from the year 2000 to 2017 and comparing the win percentage of the home team. In the NHL during the regular season, home teams won 55.1 percent of the time, in the playoffs it was 55.3 percent.
The NHL showed the least growth from regular season to playoffs but the point remains the same, a home team is more likely to win. Do whatever it takes to get home ice advantage, the odds of advancing are in your favor.