Top 10 Home Players

Tom Collins

2020-07-20

It's always easy to believe a player at home should be more productive versus when playing on the road. After all, the home player can often excel thanks to last line change leading to optimal matchups.

However, that's not always the case. This year, for example, 24 players had at least eight more road points than home points. Patrick Kane had 47 road points compared to 37 home points. John Carlson had 44 road points and 31 home points.

This means that not every player is more productive at home. That's why finding those who are might provide a slight edge in your fantasy leagues. If you have a tough decision on who to start and who to scratch, someone who has a history of consistently performing better at home could be the tiebreaker. 

Below are 10 players who are dependably more productive at home. However, I'm not simply looking at this year's stats. I used Frozen Tools to download home and away point totals for each of the past three years, and then calculated the difference between the two for every player for each season.

This gives us a recent baseline of players to sort through to figure out who performs better at home. Anyone who appeared high on the list for at least two of the seasons was considered, and for some, looking back even further provided more of a trend.

This list may also come in handy next season for those who play daily fantasy hockey leagues.

10. Mitchell Marner

When it came to home and road point differential, Marner didn't lead the Leafs this season. That honour went to Auston Matthews, who had 18 more points at home than on the road. However, Matthews' home/road point differential the previous two seasons was pretty much even, so this year could be a blip. Marner is a different story. He had 13 more home points this year, after notching six more home points in each of the previous two seasons. 

9. Jake Guentzel

Interestingly, Guentzel's home/road splits follow Sidney Crosby (more on him in a bit), considering they didn't play together that much this season. They were only together for 17 games (the last one on Nov. 9) thanks to injuries to Crosby at the start of the year and Guentzel for the entire second half. However, Guentzel had 28 points at home and 15 points on the road this season, a difference of 13 more home points. Last year, that home/road split was only two more home points, but was up to eight the season before.

8. Alexander Radulov

Radulov's season was a massive disappointment, but his home versus away split stayed consistent. After back-to-back 72-point seasons (when he had 40 home points and 32 away points in both campaigns), this year he dropped to only 34 points. However, 22 of those points were at home, versus 10 on the road. This seems to be only a Dallas thing, as he had 28 home points and 26 road points in 2016-17 with Montreal.

7. Nathan MacKinnon

If it weren't for MacKinnon's crazy numbers in 2017-18, he may not have made this list at all. But that was his breakout season, and he had 67 home points and 30 road points. That 37-point difference is the highest of any player in the past three seasons. Last year, he had a five-point difference, which increased to a nine-point difference this season. He'd be ranked higher if he had better splits in any of the past two seasons.

6. Kyle Palmieri

Palmieri isn't as proficient a scorer as many others on this list, but you can count on him for at least a 55-point pace, a mark he has hit in each of his last five campaigns, all with the Devils. However, his home proficiency helps tremendously in hitting that mark. This year, he had 29 home points and 16 road points, a difference of 13. Last year he had four more points at home than on the road, and the season before he had a 10-point difference. About 60 per cent of his points in the last three years have been at home.

5. Alex Goligoski

If the last time you looked at Goligoski's home and away stats was following the 2017-18 campaign, you may be surprised to learn how much more productive at home he has been. Three seasons ago, Goligoski had nine more points on the road than at home. In the two seasons since, he's had 11 and 12 more home points. In fact, in the last two seasons combined, he has a total of 41 home points and 18 road points. Goligoski isn't as attractive a fantasy option as he used to be, but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if you draft him next year to only dress him when he's playing at home.

4. Sidney Crosby

Crosby's recent trend is that he is much better at home every second year, and those years have tremendous splits. Just look at the last seven years (the number in brackets is the difference between home and road points):

2013-14: 56 home points, 48 road points (+13)

2014-15: 41 home points, 43 road points (-2)

2015-16: 51 home points, 34 road points (+17)

2016-17: 46 home points, 43 road points (+3)

2017-18: 56 home points, 33 road points (+23)

2018-19: 47 home points, 53 road points (-6)

2019-20: 35 home points, 12 road points (+23)

The 23-point difference this year was the highest in the league, and the 23-point difference in 2017-18 was fifth-highest.

3. Taylor Hall

Except for a season here or there, it feels as if you can count on Hall to have at least 10 more home points than road points. This year, he had 10 more points at home than on the road, and last year it was 11 more home points. In a strange twist, in his Hart trophy season of 2017-18, he had just one more home point, and the year before that was only five extra home points. In his last three with the Oilers, he also had at least 10 more home points each campaign than road points (about 60 per cent of all his points in those last three years in Edmonton were at home. That's five of the last seven years that he had at least double digits higher in home points compared to on the road.

2. Aleksander Barkov

While quite not as pronounced as his teammate that is ranked number one, Barkov has been consistently more productive at home. He had 35 home points this year, eight more than he had on the road. He also had eight more home points in 2017-18. However, last season, he had 58 points at home and 37 on the road, a difference of 22 home points. It's a trend that has dominated his career. He averages one point per game at home, but 0.7 points per game on the road.

1. Jonathan Huberdeau

In the last three seasons combined, Huberdeau has 39 more points at home than on the road. That's not the highest, but he is the most consistent. He is the only player to have at least 10 more points at home in each of the last three seasons. This season, he had 46 home points and 32 away points, for a difference of 14 points. Huberdeau is now elite enough that you wouldn't take him out of your lineup no matter if he is playing at home or on the road. However, if you notice that Florida has a homestand during head-to-head playoffs next year, you should probably bump him and Barkov up your draft rankings.  

UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
VICTOR HEDMAN T.B 6 3 5 8
JOHN KLINGBERG DAL 6 1 6 7
ALEXANDER RADULOV DAL 7 1 6 7
MATTIAS JANMARK DAL 4 1 2 3

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency MIN Players
23.2% KEVIN FIALA MARCUS FOLIGNO ERIC STAAL
17.9% RYAN HARTMAN MIKKO KOIVU NICO STURM
14.7% ALEX GALCHENYUK JORDAN GREENWAY MATS ZUCCARELLO

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