Unlike most other sports, hockey has a built-in home advantage that many casual fans may not know about. And no, we’re not referring to the fact the player from the visiting team is required to place his stick on the ice first when setting up for the faceoff.
Matchups are the real advantage, and the reason why — even without fans — we won’t see home-ice advantage disappear in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
During a stoppage in play, the final line change is given to the home team after the visiting team sends its players out onto the ice. This rule gives the coach of the home team more control and allows him to strategically deploy his players, either in a defensive posture or in an effort to create more offense.