Whenever I hear people make the argument that packed arenas are the reason why teams win, I always shake my head. Luckily, these people are not Devils fans, because, if that was the case, our team wouldn't have become the one of the winningest teams over the past two decades.
However, while some may see that the Devils are an anomaly, after all, according to idiots (Rangers fans):
-Brodeur is not actually that great of a goaltender because the Devils played so well defensively
Because of this, it is impossible to trust assumptions, so I will stick to fact (stats) to prove my argument.
I digress, but the purporse fo this fanpost is to determine whether in today's NHL (past three years) if it was true that the best teams always have a packed house cheering on their boys onto victory.
Some may argue that the best teams will always have more fans because they are winning -what I found was that this was not always the case. In fact, over the past three seasons, the best teams in the league have the best home records, but not always top attendance.
As expected, I found that teams that win at home tend to make the playoffs. Out of the teams with the top ten home records in both 10-11, and 09-10, only two teams with top 10 home records failed to qualify for the playoffs (Dallas, Anaheim). However, what I found was that attendance ranks were not always the highest for teams that performed well at home (in the top ten). In fact, only four teams that made the had top ten home records had top ten attendance in 2010-2011, and of, the teams that had top ten attendance but not a top ten home rank, only 3 of them made the playoffs.
In 2009-2010, I found similar results. As expected, 9 of the top ten home record teams made the playoffs (including our Devils), but, when it came to attendance, only 3 teams with top ten home records had top ten attendance. In fact, 3 teams in top bottom 10 (including #30 phoenix, qualified) Further, only 4 out of 8 teams with top ten attendance but not top ten home records qualified for the playoffs.
In 2008-2009, all the teams with the top ten home records made the playoffs. However, only 4 of those teams had top ten attendance. And, of the teams that had top ten attendance but not a top ten homer record, 4 of 7 qualified for the playoffs.
It is clearly not smart to assume that regular season success is determined by home attendance. If it was, highly attended games in Toronto (sorry Leafs fans) would = victory.
See below for my evidence.Thanks to espn.com.
Note: for charts points are regular season points, and the "x" next to points indicated if the teams made the playoffs.
Top Ten Home Records - 2010-2011
Team: Home Rec. Points Attendance Rank - In terms of % of arena filled
Vancouver: 27-9-5 117x 6
Washington: 25-8-8 107x 12
Nashville: 24-9-8 99x 19
San Jose 25-11-5 105x 5
Tampa 25-11-5 103x 21
Montreal 24-11-6 96x 7
Anaheim 25-13-3 99x 22
Los Angeles 22-11-8 95x 13
Dallas 22-11-8 95 26
Pittsburgh 25-14-2 106x 4
- 4 teams in top ten attendance and home record
Teams outside of top ten home record but within top ten attendance (more than six teams b/c of ties)
Team Att. Rank Home Rec. Pts.
Chicago 1 24-17-10 97x
Toronto 2 18-15-8 85
Philly 3 22-12-7 106x
Calgary 7 23-13-5 94
Edmonton 7 13-22-6 62
St. Louis 7 23-13-5 87
Boston 7 22-13-6 103x
2009-2010 Top Ten Teams Home Records and Attendance Rank
Team (Playoffs = x,y, *) Attendance Rank Points Home Record
|* - Washington||8||121||30-5-6|
|y - Vancouver||3||103||30-8-3|
|y - Chicago||1||112||29-8-4|
|z - San Jose||6||113||27-6-8|
|x - Phoenix||30||107||29-10-2|
|y - New Jersey||21||103||27-10-4|
|y - Buffalo||13||100||25-10-6|
|x - Detroit||17||102||25-10-6|
|x - Ottawa||15||94||26-11-4|
|e - Anaheim||20||89||25-11-5|
2009-2010 Teams With Top Ten Attendance, but not with top ten home records
Team Playoffs (yes/no)
San Jose yes
2008-2009 teams with top ten home records
Team Attendance Rank Points Home Record
|* - San Jose||12||117||32-5-4|
|z - Boston||16||116||29-6-6|
|y - Washington||17||108||29-9-3|
|y - Detroit||14||112||27-9-5|
|x - Calgary||9||98||27-10-4|
|y - New Jersey||19||106||28-12-1|
|x - Chicago||1||104||24-9-8|
|x - NY Rangers||6||95||26-11-4|
|x - Montreal||9||93||24-10-7|
|x - Carolina||21||97||26-14-1
2008-2009 Teams With Top Ten Attendance but not top ten home record
Team Playoffs (yes/no)