After last night, the Calgary Flames have played 28 games this season. By sheer coincidence, the Flames have played 14 home games and 14 away games. At home, the Flames are now 9-5-0 and on the road they’re 3-9-2.
But beyond the records, are the Flames playing that much better at home than on the road? Let’s dig into the numbers.
In terms of possession hockey, the Flames are a little bit better at home than on the road, with a home Corsi For percentage of 49.0 and a road percentage of 48.2. It’s not a significant difference. Similarly, the Flames play about as “high-event” a game at home (110.3 Corsi Events per 60 Minutes) as on the road (113.1).
The primary difference for the Flames appears to be shooting percentage. At home, they score on 8.8% of their even-strength shots, compared to just 7.1% on the road. That’s pretty huge, even over a small sample size.
Aside from that, their goaltending is about as good in both venues (89.8% even-strength save percentage at home, 90.1% on the road) and their face-off winning percentage is an identical 47.9% across the board.
In short: at even-strength, they’re getting the bounces at home and they’re not on the road. Some of that may be because of controlling the match-ups, though.
Are the Flames better at home with the extra man than on the road? Not really, no. They’re a good face-off team in both scenarios – 52.4% at home, 52.1% on the road – and they play a higher event style at home (100.7 Corsi Events per 60 minutes versus 96.2 on the road). But in terms of overall puck possession, their Corsi For percentage is virtually identical in both areas (88% at home, 87.9% on the road).
The penalty kill does seem to be more effective away from the Saddledome. Their Corsi For percentage is 10.2% on the road compared to 7.7% at home, which is a decently big gap, and they’re better at faceoffs (40.3% at home, 36.9% on the road). However, while they play a lower-event PK game on the road (121.1 Corsi Events per 60 minutes, versus 128.3 at home), their goaltending has been appreciably worse (78.4% on the road, 81.4% at home) enough to override any advantages the rest of their play may produce on the PK.
The thought process is that, at home, a team controls their match-ups and has last change, so it should be easier to produce points at even-strength, which is why teams are expected to have better records at home than on the road. As you can see below, the results are varied.
More Points At Home Than On the Road: Mikael Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Markus Granlund, David Jones, Josh Jooris, Sean Monahan, T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Wideman.
More Points On The Road Than At Home: Sam Bennett, Micheal Ferland, Michael Frolik, Jiri Hudler, Deryk Engelland and Kris Russell.
And everyone else is even at home and on the road.
Who’s shocked about basically all of Calgary’s offensive players having better even-strength numbers at home than on the road, the Flames having a better even-strength goal differential at home than on the road (-3 at home, -12 on the road), and having a much better record?
Notable are Johnny Gaudreau (14 points at home, 3 points on the road) and Sean Monahan (11 points at home, 6 points on the road). Considering how huge they’ve been to driving the team’s production, again, no big surprise that the Flames have had a lot more success at the ‘Dome than away from it.