Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/25/13 at 12:07 PM ET
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
The Anaheim Ducks become the 30th and last team to play its home opener when they take the ice Friday night at the Honda Center against Vancouver. They'll be hoping to avoid the problems that teams have had in winning their first home games this season.
Home openers have been anything but a chance to celebrate for most teams. San Jose became only the 12th of 29 teams to win its first home game of the season when the Sharks rallied to beat Phoenix 5-3 on Thursday night at HP Pavilion. The Canucks will be looking for revenge after the Ducks spoiled opening night at Rogers Arena with a 7-3 victory six days earlier.
Home teams' success in their openers has been dropping for the past couple of years. Teams went 17-7-6 in their home openers in 2010-11 and fell to 15-11-4 last season. But this is the first time since play resumed after the 2004-05 work stoppage that road teams will win more than half of the games in regulation.
Teams' troubles in their home openers are just part of an early trend that has seen road teams win 25 of the first 49 games this season. Through six days, visiting teams are 25-20-4, while home teams are 24-20-5.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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