Collins counts down the NHL's Top 10 point producers in their home arena…

 

One of the most-asked questions in fantasy hockey is, "should I start player X, or bench him for player Y?"

There are plenty of factors for answering that question: team matchup, starting opposing goalie, which player is running hot, etc. And sometime, advice will be given that one player is at home versus on the road, so they have an advantage.

The reason for this is obvious: With home teams getting last substitution, coaches are able to get the optimal matchups.

Knowing what players get more points at home could be an advantage if you have daily lineup changes.

For this list, we're looking at players who have at least some history of getting more home points. Jonathan Toews, for example, had 44 points at home last year versus 22 on the road, but that was an aberration, so you won't see his name on this list.

All road and home stats from the 2014-15 season come from Hockey Abstract. All previous years come from NHL.com.

 

10. Max Pacioretty

No player had more home points last year than Pacioretty. In 40 home games, the Canadien had 45 points. Compare that to his 40 road games, where he had 22 points. To further the point, Pacioretty picked up a point in 29 home games. Back in 2011-12, he had a huge discrepancy as well, with 42 home points and 23 road points.

 

9. Jeff Carter

Last year, Carter had 41 points at home, but just 21 on the road. It's not the first time he's seen such a huge gap between home/road stats, but it was the first time in quite a few years. In 2011-12, he had 24 home points versus 10 road points. And in 2009-10, he had 39 home points and 22 road points. It will be interesting to see if he continues his old ways this upcoming season.

 

8. Bobby Ryan

Since he's become a Sen, Ryan has been a much more productive player at home than on the road. Last season, Bobby Ryan scored 54 points, 37 points of which were scored at home. In 2013-14, 28 of his 48 points were scored at the Canadian Tire Centre. Whether this trend continues remains to be seen, but I'd feel a lot more comfortable scratching him from my fantasy lineup when he's on the road.

 

7. Evgeni Malkin

The Pittsburgh Penguin is a top-five player in the NHL when healthy, but it appears as he is not be a top-five player on the road (he was tied for 38th in the league last year). Last season, Malkin had 40 points at the Consol Energy Center in just 35 home games, but had just 30 in 35 on the road. Which is still great, but just not as good. It's not the first time Malkin has been much better at home. In 2011-12, he actually had 25 more home points than on the road. And the year before that, he had 24 points at home versus 13 on the road. In fact, in five of the last six seasons, he's produced much better at home.

 

6. Mikko Koivu

Last year, Koivu had twice as many points at home than he had on the road (32 versus 16), the third time in four years he's been a much better home player. In 2012-13, 23 of his 37 points came at home. And in 2011-12, 26 of his 44 points were at home. To further show how much more effective he is at home, last season, Koivu didn't score his first away point until his 12th away game. In his first 12 games at the Xcel Energy Center, he had points in eight of them.

 

5. Anze Kopitar

Last season was the first non-lockout season since 2008-09 that Kopitar didn't score 70 points. He was pretty close though, with 64, but Kopitar has a recent history of being a much better home player than road player. Just look at his last few years:

2014-15: 39 home points, 25 road points

2013-14: 42 home points, 28 road points

2012-13: 24 home points, 18 road points

You wouldn't necessarily scratch him for a road game, but he can't be considered elite when playing away games, and there may be better fantasy options out there.

 

4. Mika Zibanejad

Last season, Zibs had 30 home points and 16 road points. In 2013-14, he had 23 home points and 10 road points.  And in 2012-13, he had 13 home points and seven road points. The youngest player on this list, it will be interesting to see how Zibanejad does this year and if this will become a yearly trend, or if it's just indicative of a young player getting favourable matchups, especially since he'll be playing most of the year with number eight on this list.

 

3. Valterri Filppula

Last season, Filppula had 31 points at home against 17 on the road. In 2013-14 season, he had 37 home points versus 21 road points. In the lockout-shortened season, it was just 10 home points and seven road points, but the previous season, it was 43 points at home and 23 on the road. The guy is built to be a score at home. Some of that could be attributed to playing with Steven Stamkos the last couple of years, so he plays against the opponent's best shut down lines on the road. But to routinely net 15 extra points at home over road games is just insane.

 

2. Henrik Zetterberg

Zetterberg should be getting a reputation for being so much better at home than on the road. Just look at his last four seasons:

2014-15: 42 home points, 24 road points

2013-14: 28 home points, 20 road points

2012-13: 29 home points, 19 road points

2011-12: 41 home points, 28 road points

In those four years combined, 61 per cent of Zetterberg's points have been at home. He's definitely a player you need to pay attention to for where he plays.

 

1. Victor Hedman

Hedman is one of those rare players that has scored more points at home than on the road in every single season he's played. But last season was his most pronounced yet, when he had 27 points in Tampa and just 11 on the road. For his career, 66 per cent of his points has been scored at the Amalie Arena (120 home points versus 62 road points).