Has Home Ice Advantage Been Restored?

As the COVID-19 situation is showing more and more signs of diminishing each week, NHL arenas are welcoming back fans into arenas. 

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In the first round, The Carolina Hurricanes and the Nashville Predators both had over 12,000 people in their crowds. In this series, the home team won each game until the Hurricanes closed out the series in game 6 in Nashville.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators game six preview - Canes Country

The Penguins vs Islanders series had a combined 17,000 people. In this series, the home team won only 3 of the 6 games. Out of the 45 total games played in round 1 of the 2021 playoffs, the home team only won 23 of them whereas in the 2019 playoffs the home team won 45 out of 88 games in the entire playoffs. 

You would think that a home ice advantage would be magnified after teams went over a year without fans at their games. In reality, the home team won about as much as the last playoffs with fans. 

Despite these being the first playoffs since the COVID pause, there is no noticeable increase in the home team winning.

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