Bruins

How important is home ice for Bruins in series vs. Leafs? Here's what the stats say

Bruins

The Boston Bruins secured home-ice advantage for their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs with Tuesday night's road win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Home ice has proven vital for the Bruins in their last two playoff series against the Leafs. Boston has a 5-3 record, including a pair of thrilling Game 7 victories, versus Toronto at TD Garden from its 2013 and 2018 first-round matchups. Playing at home has its obvious advantages, including the benefit of the last line change for matchup purposes and having the support of your raucous fans.

Securing home ice is no guarantee of postseason success in the NHL, especially when compared to the NBA. The Bruins, despite being a very good home team in recent regular seasons, don't have a dominant record at the Garden during playoff action.

How well have the Bruins fared on home ice in the playoffs this decade? Here's a rundown of the results.

2018
3-1 vs TOR (won Game 7)
0-2 vs TB

2017
0-3 vs OTT

2014
2-1 vs DET
2-2 vs MTL (lost Game 7)

2013
2-2 vs TOR (won Game 7)
3-0 vs NYR
2-0 vs PIT
1-2 vs CHI

2012
1-3 vs WSH (lost Game 7)

2011
2-2 vs MTL (won Game 7)
2-0 vs PHI
3-1 vs TBL (won Game 7)
3-0 vs VAN

 

2010
3-0 vs BUF
2-2 vs PHI (lost Game 7)

Total 31-21 (4-3 in Game 7)

What's the takeaway here?

Well, the Bruins have a winning percentage of almost .600 at home, which is solid. They also own a winning record in Game 7s in Boston, but when facing elimination at the Garden, the B's are just 5-5.

Having home ice is great for the Bruins, but they cannot take their foot off the gas and assume it'll be a huge factor against the Leafs. This Toronto team is really good (fifth-best record in the league) and fully capable of beating Boston anywhere. The Leafs enter Wednesday tied for the third-most road wins with 23.

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