Wanted to take a quick look today and see if coaches really are consciously putting certain players on the ice in certain situations. When teams can dictate the matchups on home ice, it is expected to see coaches lean heavily on some d-men versus tough competition, while staying lenient on others.
In order to see if this was an actual phenomenon, I used the xGF quality of competition from Corsica.Hockey to check the home and away usage for d-men during 5v5 play. In order to be featured on the chart, the d-man would have had to play 50 minutes both on home and away ice.
Here is a link to an Imgur album of all 30 teams. (some charts will feature a running dashed line, this is a line showing where xGF Away = xGF Home)
I have since changed the labels on the plots below. I'm not sure if 'disrespect' was the right term to use for someone facing easy competition on the road - as that may very well be a sign of respect if an opposing coach keeps his toughest matchups away from you.
Some interesting ones below: