The 2010 playoffs have shocked the NHL, and there are still two rounds remaining. The saying “anything can happen in playoffs” has certainly been proved once again this year, especially in the Eastern Conference.
All three division winners in the East were knocked out in the first round. Even with earning the home-ice advantage, they still were unable to win the series. In the first round, the home team lost more than half the time, posting a 23-26 record.
There was little improvement in the second round as the home team posted a 14-11 record. Why is home ice mean less in the playoffs? Or does it? Washington, New Jersey, and Buffalo all had 25 or more wins on home ice during the regular season, but couldn’t advance with home ice in the playoffs.
Is it better to be the underdog? By earning home ice advantage, the pressure is on that team immediately for a number of reasons. Obviously, the team has earned one of the top spots in the Conference, meaning that their expectations have been raised for the playoffs.
After winning the President’s Trophy, it looked like a safe bet for Washington to go to at least the second or third round, but it was not so.
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