High Attendance Doesn't Matter! Teams Win Anyway

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


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


y - Vancouver 3



y - Chicago 1



z - San Jose 6



x - Phoenix 30



y - New Jersey 21



y - Buffalo 13



x - Detroit 17



x - Ottawa 15



e - Anaheim 20




2009-2010 Teams With Top Ten Attendance, but not with top ten home records

Team Playoffs (yes/no)

Toronto  no

Philly yes

Pittsburgh yes

Minnesota no

San Jose yes

Calgary no

Edmonton no

Montreal yes


2008-2009 teams with top ten home records

Team  Attendance Rank Points Home Record

* - San Jose 12



z - Boston 16



y - Washington 17



y - Detroit 14



x - Calgary 9



y - New Jersey 19



x - Chicago 1



x - NY Rangers 6



x - Montreal 9



x - Carolina 21




2008-2009 Teams With Top Ten Attendance but not top ten home record

Team Playoffs (yes/no)

Ottawa  no

Minnesota no

Toronto  no

Pittsburgh yes

Vancouver yes

Philly yes

Montreal yes

All FanPosts and FanShots are the respective work of the author and not representative of the writers or other users of In Lou We Trust.

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