Kings melting home-ice myth

Home advantage is proving to be insignificant, which is good news for L.A.

Updated: May 20, 2012, 2:01 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider
Los Angeles KingsChristian Petersen/Getty ImagesBehind goalie Jonathan Quick, the Kings are winning wherever they go.

Except for baseball, in which the home team gets the last at-bat, there is not a sport aside from hockey that gives a more definitive advantage to the home team. The visiting team has to name its starting lineup first, allowing the home coach to get the matchup he prefers. During faceoffs, the visiting player has to put his stick on the ice first, giving the home player a slight advantage in terms of positioning and timing.

And yet the Los Angeles Kings are a perfect 7-0 on the road this postseason, tying a league record. They are also the first No. 8 seed in NHL history to eliminate their conference's top two seeds in the same postseason and are just one win away from sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes, which would give the Kings their first Stanley Cup finals appearance in 19 years.

The Detroit Red Wings set a record this season by winning 23 straight regular-games at Joe Louis Arena en route to a league-best 31 home victories. The Wings would go on to lose both games at home in the conference quarterfinals and ultimately the series to the Nashville Predators in five games.

The Washington Capitals ended the regular season with a road winning percentage below .400, but that didn't stop them from beating the reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins three times on the road, including in a must-win Game 7.

Are we seeing the end of home-ice advantage in the postseason?

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.