So far, the Leafs have been able to win 47.6 percent of all home games in the 2023-2024 regular season. On the road, the team is a bit better earning a 52.4 win percentage halfway through the 2023-2024 season. Overall, home team advantage does not appear to be a major factor for the Blue and White. The Maple Leafs have 20 home games at the Toronto Scotiabank Arena remaining in the 2023-2024 regular season.
Can 19,000 Maple Leaf Fans Help the Team Win More Home Games?
Like too many professional sports teams, there is no shortage of critics for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Most are die-hard Toronto fans who want to push the team to succeed. Is it possible that too much negativity can be contagious and bring down the energy at Scotiabank Arena? Toronto fans need to get loud and bring up the intensity for their club. Around the NHL, 59 percent of home games are won by the home team on average. The next time you get Scotiabank Arena tickets, cheer loudly because high energy at home can help raise the Maple Leafs home win percentage.
Will the Buds Bloom on the Road?
As of late, the team has started off hot in the last four games with early leads. All four of those games ultimately ended in a loss. Despite ups and downs in Toronto’s last home game loss vs. the Detroit Red Wings on January 14, 2024, Coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned bouncing back on the road in his postgame interview:
The losses are something we’ve been through before and bounced and put together a good stretch, which for the last time for us started on the road (Sheldon Keefe, January 14, 2024).
Although the first game of the next road trip did not turn out as planned, the team played a blazing-fast game against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Auston Matthews took control early by dishing a pass to Mitch Marner while quickly finding an open spot on the back door to crack one past Oilers tender Stuart Skinner.
In the end, the lead was blown in the third period with too little time spent in the Maple Leafs offensive zone. According to defenceman Morgan Rielly after the Oilers game:
There has been periods of hockey that have been really good, so that is enough to give us confidence and look to close games out. (Morgan Rielly, January 16, 2024).
Comparing the Leafs Home Ice Advantage at Scotiabank Arena to Maple Leaf Gardens
The Maple Leafs moved to Scotiabank Arena Toronto, ON (originally the Air Canada Centre), in February 1999. Prior to Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Maple Leafs played at Maple Leaf Gardens located at the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from 1931 to 1999. During those years at the Gardens, the team won 59.7 percent of the time at home between the 1930-31 and 1997-98 seasons. In all the time at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto won 53.8 percent of home games. Historically, when the Leafs are at home they have the advantage. It will be a big part of the Maple Leafs season as we go further down the road.
Main Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports