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I don't think I'll be putting any money on the Leafs to make the playoffs. Shocking, I know. It was this revolutionary notion that made me wonder whether Toronto even would have had a remote chance of playoff success if they managed to sneak in. After doing some quick research I can safely say they would have done quite poorly.

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 %

EASTGP%WESTGP%
NYR6668.9%STL6868.4%
PIT6663.6%VAN6767.2%
BOS6662.9%DET6766.4%
PHI6662.9%NAS6763.4%
NJ6760.4%CHI6858.1%
OTT6958.0%DAL6858.1%
FLA6656.1%SJ6656.1%
WPG6753.7%PHX6855.9%
WAS6753.7%LA6755.2%
BUF6851.5%CGY6753.7%
TB6751.5%COL6953.6%
TOR6750.0%ANA6850.0%
NYI6748.5%MIN6850.0%
CAR6748.5%EDM6743.3%
MTL6845.6%CLB6738.1%

Winning % against playoff teams

EASTGP%WESTGP%
NYR3666.7%DET3567.1%
BOS3262.5%STL3666.7%
PIT3154.8%VAN3260.9%
PHI3654.2%LA3959.0%
NJ3552.9%NAS3356.1%
WAS3850.0%PHX3555.7%
OTT3350.0%CHI3552.8%
MTL3847.4%MIN3652.8%
TB3946.2%SJ3350.0%
BUF3944.9%COL3847.4%
FLA3343.9%DAL3347.0%
CAR3643.1%ANA3846.1%
WPG3240.6%EDM3743.2%
TOR3836.8%CGY3643.1%
NYI4036.3%CLB4031.3%

Winning % against non-playoff teams

EASTGP%WESTGP%
PHI3073.3%VAN3572.9%
NYR3071.7%NAS3470.6%
PIT3571.4%STL3270.3%
NJ3268.8%DAL3568.6%
FLA3368.2%CGY3166.1%
TOR2967.2%DET3265.6%
NYI2766.7%CHI3363.6%
WPG3565.7%SJ3362.1%
OTT3665.3%COL3161.3%
BOS3463.2%PHX3356.1%
BUF2960.3%ANA3055.0%
TB2858.9%LA2850.0%
WAS2958.6%CLB2748.1%
CAR3154.8%MIN3246.9%
MTL3043.3%EDM3043.3%


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.

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