Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Even if the San Jose Sharks crawl above a first-round matchup against a top-two team in the Western Conference, they are unlikely to climb above every non-division leader. That means having to go into the playoffs without home-ice advantage.
We have all heard about how the road team actually has the advantage in the Stanley Cup playoffs. If that were true, teams would mysteriously fumble away division titles and try to get in as lower seeds.
The reality is that home ice means little in each game in the Eastern Conference, especially in the first round. However, it means a lot in the long run in the Western Conference, where there is a lot of travel.
It also means more to the Sharks than almost any other team. They are 8-1-4 at home, but have been terrible on the road (5-9-2). They have only one non-shootout road win over a team that would currently qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs (St. Louis).