Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Can The Sens Finally Win At Home?
The above picture is from the warmup of game 3 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals at Scotiabank Place. Now you may be wondering why I put it up. Take a breath, you may want to sit down when I give you the bad news. This was the last home playoff game the Senators won. It was June 2nd, 2007 and the Sens beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 to cut their lead to 2 games to 1. Sadly it was nearly 5 years ago.
Since then the Sens have gone 0-7 at home in the playoffs, losing game 4 to Anaheim, losing both games at home to Pittsburgh in 2007-8 on their way to being swept and losing all 3 home games to the Penguins again in 2009-10, losing the series 4-2. Their only 2 wins of the series coming on the road. They also of course lost game 3 of their current series with New York at home on Monday.
So it's a seven game losing streak at SBP. It's an odd streak, considering the notion out there that teams play better at home, though this year the road teams records are much better. It's a perplexing stat nevertheless. Perhaps in wouldn't be so disconcerting if the Sens playoff record on the road during the same span wasn't so much more superior.
Now while their road playoff record over the same time period is hardly awe inspiring, they do boast a 3-5 mark away from SBP since game 3 of the 2007 finals, which is a decent away win percentage, especially for the post season. So why are the Senators so much better away from SBP?
Is it a case of there being too much pressure on the team at home to perform, while on the road they're free to play a simple, unflashy game that gets them the results they need? No one really knows or they'd fix it. But if the Sens have want any chance to win this series, they will need their first playoff win at home in 8 tries tonight or they likely won't get another chance this year.
I'd love to hear your theories on why they can't win at home.