I am basing that assumption off of their regular season record that has seen the Leafs go 12-22-4 against teams that are currently holding a playoff position, for a winning percentage of 36.8%. Only the Blue Jackets and the Islanders have a worse record against teams currently sitting in the playoffs. In contrast the Leafs have the 10th best record in the league when it comes to beating up on non-playoff teams with a 67.2% success rate.
I've included my tables below showing the results from around the league. Playoff teams listed in bold are the teams that were holding a playoff spot before the beginning of games on March 8th, 2012 and the numbers listed include all results from the games on the 8th with the exception of WPG/VAN.
Overall Winning %
Winning % against playoff teams
Winning % against non-playoff teams
A few things worth noting on this:
- Montreal, Detroit, Phoenix, Minnesota, and Los Angeles are the teams that do better against playoff teams as opposed to non-playoff teams
- The Jets and Stars have taken advantage of friendly schedules and easy wins to put them in the playoff picture. Neither shows much promise against tough competition
- Red Wings, Canucks, Blues, Bruins and Rangers have over 60% winning percentage no matter whether the team is in the playoffs or not. All 5 are also the only teams with a 60% or greater winning percentage against playoff teams. Not surprising that they are the favourites going into the playoffs
Given the choice right now of
(A) snapping a pathetic playoff drought and likely getting swept in the first round or
(B) drafting in the top 10 and having the chance to pick a young impact forward
I'm feeling confident that (B) is the right decision and should help the Leafs long term, though it's not overly comforting right now.