Frozen Tools Forensics: Home Sweet Home/Road Splits

by Grant Campbell on April 19, 2019

 

In 2017-2018, Nathan Mackinnon had 67 points in 39 games at home and only 30 points in 35 games on the road, and Blake Wheeler had 60 points in 41 games at home and 31 points in 40 games on the road. At a 37- and 29-point differential respectively, those two were the home leaders that season.

Just for interest’s sake, I ran a Home/Away report using the custom date range for the regular season from 2010-2011 to 2018-2019. Evgeni Malkin has the largest home ice split at plus-87 points and Blake Wheeler is second with plus-84 points. At the opposite end, Kyle Turris has 31 more points on the road followed by Artemi Panarin with 30 more.

We thought it would be interesting to look at the players who had some of the biggest home ice differentials this past season using the Frozen Tools Report Generator.

 

 

Matthew Tkachuk – Calgary Flames

Tkachuk led the NHL in 2018-2019 with a 31-point differential between home and away. While his shots were almost identical at 104 and 103, his 26 goals at home and eight on the road in 40 games of each were not. His PP points (13 at home and 11 on the road) highlight the even-strength split of 41 points at home and only 12 on the road. His shooting % at home was 25.0 and on the road it was 7.8. If Tkachuk can even out his splits and improve upon the 12 points at even strength on the road, watch out as he could become a 90-100 point player next season.

 

Leon Draisatl – Edmonton Oilers

In each of his past four seasons, Draisatl has performed better at home, and this past season the point differential was 17 points with 61 points at home and 44 on the road in 41 games of each. His goal output was fairly evenly matched as his shooting % was 22.7 at home and 20.5 on the road producing 27 goals at home and 23 on the road. His biggest statistical difference was the 13 fewer assists away from Rogers Place. 

 

Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

Throughout his career, Marchand has performed within five points for his home and away splits in 681 career games. This season was a little different on his way to scoring 100 points for the first time. His point differential was 22 points better at TD Garden than on the road. He had an impressive 61 points in 40 games at home and a very respectable 39 points in 39 games in his away games. His shot totals were very close but his shooting % at home was 18.4 compared to 12.8 on the road. Marchand is becoming an assist machine, getting an assist per game at home and chipping in with 30 in 31 all games post All-Star break.

 

Alexsander Barkov – Florida Panthers

Barkov seemed like two different players at home and on the road. There was Barkov at home with 24 goals and 35 assists in 41 games and plus 19, and there was the road Barkov with 11 goals and 26 assists in 41 games and a minus 22. His shooting % at home was 21.1 on 114 shots and 12.0 on the road with 92 shots. For Barkov, this is not just a one-year occurrence as his career point differential is 63 points more at his home rink in 413 career games, with 35 of that difference being in goals.

 

Mark Scheifele – Winnipeg Jets

Scheifele was another player that was totally different on the road. While producing 24 goals and 28 assists in 41 games and being plus 21 at home, he only had 14 goals and 18 assists in 41 road games while being minus 13. His shooting % was 22.2 at home and 15.4 on the road. Some of these road struggles were post All-Star related as he had 25 points in the last 34 games of the season while being minus 10. He is a career homebody as his differential is 61 points in 448 career games.

 

Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks

It’s hard to believe that an 81-point year at the age of 30 was Toews’ best regular season in his storied career. He owes a lot to his comfort playing at United Center, as he produced a 100-point pace while scoring 22 goals and 28 assists in 41 games there. His road numbers were not nearly as great with 13 goals and 18 assists in 41 games. His career differential is 51 more points at home in 873 career games, with 31 of those being goals.

 

Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins

Adding to the list of veterans that had career years, Bergeron posted 79 points in 65 games in his 15th season at the age of 33. He had 50 points in 33 games at TD Garden while posting a shooting % of 20.4. On the road, he managed 29 points in 32 games with a shooting % of 10.8. His career differential is 63 points more at home over his 1,028 career games. His career shooting % is 10.7 at home and 10.3 away, which is surprisingly consistent.

 

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Washington Capitals

Kuznetsov had an interesting split this season as he only scored 4 goals in 37 games on the road. He’s primarily a passer, but he did manage 17 goals at home to break 20 goals for the third time in his career. Points-wise, he accumulated 46 points in 39 games at home and 26 points in 37 games on the road. He has been fairly consistent in his 416 career games with only 15 more goals and 47 more points at home.

 

Andreas Athanasiou – Detroit Red Wings

If you just took the speedy Athanasiou’s stats from Little Caesars Arena this past year, he would be a 2nd or 3rd round pick in most pools, but alas, he needs to play on the road. His stats were 20 goals and 15 assists in 37 games and a plus 9 at home, but only 10 goals and nine assists in 39 games while minus 17 on the road. Surprisingly, in 2016-2017 he was the opposite with 20 points on the road and only nine at home.

 

Andreas Johnsson – Toronto Maple Leafs

In his rookie season, Johnsson has had a very impressive 16 goals and 15 assists in 37 home games with a 21.6 shooting %. Get him on the road and it’s a stark contrast, with only four goals and eight assists in 36 games with a 7.1 shooting %. It will be interesting to see what Johnsson does going forward, as he has some unsustainable stat lines that I briefly touched on in an earlier column.

 

Jonathan Drouin – Montreal Canadiens

Drouin was below par on the road this season. He was minus 12, with only five goals and 14 assists in 40 games. At home he was respectable with 13 goals and 21 assists in 41 games at Bell Centre. He had been much more balanced in his home/away splits before reaching Montreal but it has now been two years in a row that he has struggled on the road.

 

Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Montreal Canadiens

Kotkaniemi is only on this list because he has yet to actually score an NHL goal on the road. He had 11 goals and 12 assists in 41 home games but was held scoreless in 38 road games despite having 75 shots on net. It will just be a matter of time before he pots his first next season.

 

Alexander Steen – St. Louis Blues

While only generating 27 points in 65 games overall, Steen had one of the worst splits in the NHL. He had a respectable nine goals and 13 assists in 34 home games for what would have been a 53-point pace, but being on the road he produced a paltry one goal and four assists in 31 games. Prior to this season, Steen had been very consistent over his 963 career games in producing 320 points at home and 285 on the road.

 

We can look at each team’s split record and see that teams like Boston, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, and San Jose were going to have players with better home versus away stats this past season as those teams were all much better at home than on the road. As scoring increases, these splits will only get bigger, as we have been looking at 30-point splits in the past three seasons compared to around 20 from four or five years ago.