An interesting story this post-season has been that the road teams have fared very well. Home ice is supposed to be a big advantage. But the road team has won slightly more than half of the games so far, and a perfect 4-0 record in game 7s.
Here's Gump Worsley's input on home ice advantage and how playing well on the road is a trait of a superstar hockey player:
"Home ice is an advantage in the playoffs, no doubt about it. Four of the seven games are going to be played on your ice - that's a real advantage. It really helps in the playoffs. People say, 'No, you should be able to play as good away as you do at home.' That's bull. Some guys do. But if you take the majority, you look at any hockey club, most of them always play better at home.
"I'm talking about the average hockey player. Which you have a lot of on hockey clubs. But the superstars, they play good all over the place. You can go see a Bobby Orr in Philadelphia or Chicago, he plays just as well as in Boston. But then you see another guy who plays well at home, you see him a couple of games on the road, he's just a so-so hockey player. He loses that category of superstar because he doesn't play as well on the road. Whether that guy just gets livened up by his own home crowd and he needs that for a push, or what, I just don't know.
"But that is the difference between an average player and a superstar - playing the same all around the league. Why? That's a good question. But I'll say this: I read where Ed Snider, who owns the Philadelphia club, said that Rick MacLeish plays better at home than on the road. Why would you make a statement like that about your own hockey player? It doesn't do anything for a hockey player. You should boost him up. But I'll tell you this: If I could find a solution for why most guys don't play as good on the road, I'd be coaching probably. Or I'd just tell them what to do and take the million-dollar check."
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